fbpx Faces of Project Management: Dr. Gerry Galloway | University of Maryland Project Management

The first known picture of Dr. Gerry Galloway was one of him and his mother. She was pregnant and standing on the banks of the Alabama’s Warrior River.

Since then, Galloway has never stopped working with, loving and being around the water. “My passion,” he said, “is to make sure that in the U.S. and other countries, people are able to live with the natural cycles, droughts and floods of water.”

Galloway has been working towards that goal in some way shape or form for his entire career. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and served in the army in various capacities for 38 years, including as Dean (Chief Academic Officer) at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Galloway (left) inspecting the construction of Vung Ro Port in Vietnam (1966)

Over the years he has served on numerous committees, commissions, and boards. Galloway has participated in national and international projects concerning environmental issues and water resource management and has served as a consultant for the Executive Office of the President of the U.S.

In spite of his impressive resume, he doesn’t let any of those accomplishments obscure his vision towards helping humanity live harmoniously with water. Despite making many appearances before public officials and providing various suggestions for improvement, he feels that one of the biggest problems is garnering enough prolonged interest to make an impact.

“When there is a drought or flood, people think about it and want to change something for two weeks,” he said. “Then the memory starts to fade. We’re trying to convince people to change
their behavior.”

Galloway isn’t pleased that all the recommendations he has been making for years seem to have fallen on deaf ears. “I’d like most of the recommendations to be acted on, and they’re not. It haunts me,” he said.

With Galloway’s long history as a water resources program manager, it’s not surprising that his Project Management philosophy has nature at its core. “Building a building is one thing,” he said, “I’ve built buildings. In Project Management of a natural system, building with Mother Nature, you’re managing a dynamic, adaptive system.”

An important component of his PM philosophy is listening and adapting to what the Earth and ecosystems want and not always doing what the client wants before gauging what irreparable impact it could have on the environment. On a personal note, he believes that his “good looks” give him an edge over other project managers.

Galloway (right) meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan with manager of Tarbela Dam and Director Water and Power College to discuss sediment challenges to dam capacity (2012)

Among the most important ideas he wants to instill in his students are that there’s no such thing as a simple answer and to always look for chains and linkages, to understand the how things are connected.

In Dr. Galloway’s office, you find yourself surrounded by pictures of projects past and maps of bodies of water. “I don’t know what a hobby is,” he said laughingly. However, he said that seeing and traveling along the world’s waterways is probably his closest substitute. “That’s what’s so great about the world, water is everywhere.”

(To read more about Dr. Galloway’s professional accomplishments, appointments, and education please review his resume)

Posted by Hannah Ku on September 2, 2020