Project Management Institute

In Memoriam

J. Gordon Davis, PhD, PMI Fellow

J. Gordon Davis, PhD, PMI Fellow

PMI is deeply saddened to report the passing of one of our founders, J. Gordon Davis, PhD, PMI Fellow.

Dr. Davis was member number four in PMI and was a former vice president of the Institute. He effectively served PMI in many capacities, including the coordination of the Institute's early-on academic activities, and has received nearly every honor that the organization bestows, including being designated a PMI Fellow in 1983. He and the other founders had a vision for PMI to provide a forum for discussing the emerging concepts and practices in the field, and to identify project management as a profession. At the time, it was not perceived as a profession.

Throughout his years with PMI, Dr. Davis challenged PMI members and volunteer leaders to build professionalism in project management and to focus on the multi-disciplinary aspects of project management that play such a vital role in bringing projects of all sizes to a successful conclusion.

Dr. Davis was CEO, CASCAD¬e Systems, a pioneering firm in graphical scheduling. He was an industrial engineering graduate of the University of Florida and the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was a Ford Fellow and a NASA/ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Fellow. He taught and carried out research at Georgia Tech for 10 years. He then entered into private practice as one of the first “outside schedule consultants.”

Dr. Davis personally led the scheduling function for more than 100 project teams, including teams in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He served as an expert witness on project delay claims, and was an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He was a member of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Change Orders in the Construction Industry. Dr. Davis served on the former PMI College of Scheduling board of directors from its initial founding.

It began as a dinner in early 1969 among three men at the Three Threes Restaurant, a small, intimate gathering place just a few blocks from City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The dinner was a continuation of several months of discussions between two of the men, Jim Snyder and Gordon Davis. By the conclusion of this meal, it was decided that a new organization should be formed to provide a means for project managers to associate, share information and discuss common problems.

Ensuing discussions resulted in the first formal meeting at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, on 9 October 1969. The by-product of this meeting was the birth of the Project Management Institute. Shortly thereafter, articles of incorporation were filed in Pennsylvania, signed by five persons, who are officially recognized as the founders of PMI – James Snyder, Eric Jenett, Gordon Davis, A. E. “Ned” Engman and Susan C. Gallagher.