Interview with Joel Carboni, PhD

President and Founder – GPM Global and the IIPSD
President – IPMA-USA


Interviewed by Ömer Berkay Dağlı
Southampton, United Kingdom

Joel Carboni, PhD, KStG, GPM®, IPMA Level B® is a leading figure on sustainable project management. He is a graduate of Ball State University and holds a Ph.D. in Sustainable Development and Environment. He has over 20 years’ experience in portfolio, program and program management working in Municipal Government, Big Five Consulting, Banking, and Higher Education. He is the founder of Green Project Management (GPM Global) and is the President of IPMA-USA.

As an author and an actor on the international sustainable development movement he is the GPM Global representative to the United Nations Global Compact, a founding signatory of the UN’s Business for Peace Initiative, signatory to the call to action on Anti-Corruption, Caring for Climate, and one of only fourteen listed supporting organizations of the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education Initiative (PRME). He is a frequent speaker at project management and sustainability symposiums, congresses, and conferences all over the world.

Joel is the architect of the GPM PRiSM Methodology, The GPM P5™ Standard for Sustainability in Project Management, Co-Architect of the Portfolio, Program and Project Materiality Assessment Model (PSM3), and Advisor to the IPMA Individual Competence Baseline 4th Version (ICB4).  Also Dr. Carboni is the first recipient of an IPMA Achievement Award for “Applying sustainable principles to project delivery” in October of 2013. He is a Certified Senior Project Manager (IPMA Level B®), Certified Green Project Manager (GPM®) and PSM3™ First Assessor.


Ömer Berkay Dağlı (Dağlı): Dear Dr. Carboni, first of all, thank you for agreeing to have an interview with me. It is very important for me to welcome a knowledgeable and experienced project manager like you. Could you please introduce yourself to PM World Journal readers?

Joel Carboni (Carboni): Hi Omer, Thank you for the opportunity to chat. I fell into project management by accident as many do.  I live in Detroit, here in the U.S., am married and have two great kids. I feel like the airport is my second home though as much as I travel.  I have spent the past nine years trying to advance sustainable practices and have put my suitcase down in over 50 countries.

Dağlı:           Related with these changes in your life, in one of your interviews (Pasian, B. 2017)[1], you mentioned that project management is the only discipline that focuses entirely on change. Could you briefly tell us what project management means for you related with this thought?

Carboni:       Projects are essentially change. Whether it is a new skyscraper changing the look of a city skyline, two corporations merging into one, or the redesign of a car, project management is a common thread.  To me, project managers are the protagonists to change.

Dağlı:           What is it that you are most proud of after working in this field for so long? Please share with us some unforgettable lessons learned in your career?

Carboni:       I have had the great fortune to work in several industries in different types of projects which has given me unique perspectives, proving invaluable.  When developing methods and standards, I am able to draw from a wide spectrum of projects and take into consideration how my work would be viewed through the lens of different types of project managers.  In terms of lessons learned… I would say that if I could go back in time and share one thing with a younger version of myself it would be to elevate the importance of benefits realization over time, cost, and scope.

I know saying this opens a can of worms, but I can say that from my experience in the field, executives understand benefits and for project management to ascend into a mature profession, we need to of course hold true to our roots but at the same time evolve to become more business focused.

Dağlı:           I know you’ve been on a lot of tasks together. Among these, I think it should be the IPMA-USA presidency that takes your most time. Could you tell us about this task with the explanation of general structure and function of IPMA?


To read entire interview, click here


About the Interviewer

Ömer Berkay Dağlı

Southampton Business School
Southampton, United Kingdom



 Ömer Berkay Dağlı is currently a Masters Candidate at Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, based in UK for the academic year 2017-2018. Previously, he has served as an Officer on Watch for over 30 months on board chemical tankers, based in different routes around the world where he served as Third and Second Officer. He completed his graduation in Marine Transportation Management dual diploma with honours from both Istanbul Technical University, Turkey and State University of New York Maritime College, USA in 2014. His major fields of study are project management, logistics and inter-modal transportation. His research interests include global project management, leadership, uncertainty management, programme and portfolio management, strategic PM, PM governance, stakeholders, project control and PM in the transportation and logistics industries.  Omer served as a research intern for the PM World Library during January 2018, completing the program in record time.  He can be contacted at [email protected]


[1] Pasian, B. 2017. Thoughts on Climate Change and Project Management. Project Management Research and Practice, 4, 5462. http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/pmrp.v4i0.5462