We Are DIA

Community Spotlight

Preeminent Community of Project Management Practice


he DIA Project Management Community creates opportunities for connection and knowledge sharing for project management (PM), portfolio management, and strategic operations professionals across the healthcare ecosystem with the goal of being the preeminent community of practice for these multidisciplinary project managers.

We strive to enable non-competitive information sharing to drive innovation in development strategy and execution for healthcare products, technologies, and services.

Who Are We?

The PM Community was re-launched in 2016 with the establishment of an active core community chaired by Leigh Shultz, PhD, PMP, and including Karla Childers (Communications), Mark Kryah (Education), Liz Somers (Programming), and Nita Ichhpurani (Member Engagement). All current core community members also serve on the Global Annual Meeting Program Committee, both in and beyond the Project Management & Strategic Planning track which is most aligned with our core subject matter expertise. Our more than 300 community members are project managers and other professionals with an interest in PM who serve in leadership across pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies, CROs, regulatory agencies, and consulting firms, to name a few.

What Do We Do?

We focus on creating new opportunities for regular outreach to, and discussion with, our members via All-Hands Calls and maintaining and growing our presence at DIA’s regional and global annual meetings. Our 2017 calls addressed such diverse topics as managing people and teams, stakeholder management, and different careers within PM. We already have calls planned in 2018 to discuss meeting management best practices and negotiation skills.

At DIA 2017, we held our second annual PM Community Networking event and got the chance to meet more than 30 of our members in person, and also hosted a well-received Difficult Stakeholders Content Hub. More recently, we’ve begun to partner with the Professional Education, Training & Development Community (PETD) community on PM competencies for clinical research professionals and joint All-Hands Calls on topics such as career mapping.

Get Involved!

Our PM Community is a true and dynamic community only if we have active, engaged members! Whether you are a project manager by profession or simply have an interest in the area, you are welcome. After all, we believe that project management and leadership skills are critical to almost every job in product development and healthcare! Joining our community ensures access to the most up-to-date information about our activities and the ability to opt-in to receive our email communications at a frequency that works for you. We’ll also make you aware of volunteer, collaborative, and learning opportunities as they arise. If you are a PMP-certified project manager, participation in our community activities can earn you valuable PDUs toward your certification renewal.

We would also love to meet you at any of our PM Community events at DIA 2018 in Boston. As the meeting gets closer, the program and the community events listed in the app will tell you what we’re up to!


“I started attending DIA three years ago for the project management track. It’s been really valuable networking with other project managers who experience many of the same issues. I’ve been able to turn those insights into tangible results within my company.”

Matthew Curin, Director

Project and Process Excellence
Astellas Pharma US, Inc.

About the Author

Leigh Shultz, PhD, PMP, is Associate Vice President, Primary Care, Infectious Disease, and Vaccines in Global Project and Alliance Management (GPAM) in Merck Research Laboratories, with overall accountability for a team of senior leaders and project managers who deliver projects across the Diabetes, Women’s Health, Bone, Cardiovascular, Respiratory/Immunology, Neuroscience, Infectious Disease, and Vaccines therapeutic areas. Originally trained as a chemist, she holds a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BS in Chemistry from the University of Florida. Leigh joined Merck’s Global Project Management department in 2004 and has since held positions of increasing scope and responsibility. She obtained her PMP certification in 2007, and has been a member of the DIA Global Annual Meeting Steering Committee since 2015.