Susan Carol Gallagher passed away peacefully Friday, 13 January 2023 in her home, surrounded by family and friends.
Susan was an inspirational leader, instrumental in the founding of PMI and establishing project management as a respected and essential profession. A graduate of Villanova University, Susan also received a Master of Science in Management (cum laude) and a Master of Business Administration (cum laude) from Lake Forest College.
She entered the workforce at a time when women rarely had opportunities to lead, but she quickly shattered the glass ceiling. By age 26, she was working at General Electric completing complex calculations on a mainframe computer. Throughout her impressive career, Susan worked for several organizations. She spent the last 17 years of her career at MGI Pharma, Inc. near Minneapolis where she served as the Senior Director of Clinical Research and then later the Senior Director of Medical and Scientific Affairs. Her scientific contributions were many, including publication in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Susan was a strategic thinker who not only broke barriers for herself, but also worked to create educational opportunities and career pathways for others. In 1969, she co-founded PMI. Susan worked in project management with her fellow founder, James Snyder, at the SmithKline & French Laboratories in Philadelphia. She participated in the meeting in Atlanta in which the original founders met to create what would become PMI, and where they named themselves to cover several positions at the brand new organization.
She served in numerous leadership roles for PMI — including Treasurer, Vice President of Technical Services and Director — and presented articles in annual meetings. Along with her fellow founders, Susan’s goal was to bring people from every field of the project management profession together, to learn, share and advance the profession. After she moved to Chicago, she participated in the PMI Midwest Chapter and played an essential role in the creation of PMI Seminars and Symposiums in 1977.
Her legacy and lasting impression on the project management profession and our broader community will be long remembered and cherished.