Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962: A Project Management Perspective

Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962: A Project Management Perspective


David S. Maurer, PMP

Lieutenant Colonel, USA (Ret.)

PMIWDC Non-Member Rate

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Registration is closed but onsite registration is available. 

This is NOT a sit-down dinner. Heavy hors-d'oeuvres will be served during networking.

“The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962; In Extremis Project Management”

At the height of the Cold War, the United States, under the leadership of a youthful (and, some would argue, unproven) president Kennedy, faced off with the USSR, led by the cantankerous Premier Khrushchev. In the balance was the fate of the entire world. The tumultuous and now famous thirteen days that precipitated the negotiated peaceful resolution have been viewed and reviewed through thousands of interviews, hundreds of books and dozens of TV shows and movies; yet the ordeal has never been analyzed through the lens of project management and project leadership.

Clearly, these events predate the development of the formal discipline of project management – or at least project management as we know it today. However, in hindsight, nearly the entire concept of the operation, from the composition and the conduct of the crisis management team, to the documentation required, to the timeline covered and the approach to solving the problem, were what we would now include as key tenets of the practice of project management.

In just the last few years, more and more information has been declassified and documented, offering even greater proof of the incomparable danger we faced during the fall of 1962. It was a crisis like no other with the stakes at the highest level yet known to the human race. And so, it was a project like no other. The price for failure was almost certain death for millions in the US and the USSR and a world on the brink of total destruction.

This was indeed a project that was initiated under duress. It was a project that no one wanted to maneuver through but there it was – an in extremis project; a crisis project that had to be led, managed and concluded to meet very strict parameters because there were no other acceptable alternatives. This project was overseen by a sponsor, led by a project manager and impacted millions of stakeholders and their children, and their children’s children – and you are one of them.

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Operation Gratitude

Event Location

1960 Chain Bridge Rd.
McLean, VA, 22102

Agenda and Cost:

Chapter Members: $35
Non-members: $40

5:30PM - Registration Opens & Networking Reception
5:30 PM - PMIWDC Members Only Book Club Meeting
7:00 PM - PM Talk
8:00 PM - Presentation Concludes

Special Instructions

Cancellations will only result in a refund if made 48 hours or more to the start of the event.

PDUs Available: 
1.00 PDUs for Certified PMs
Talent Triangle Category: 
Strategic and Business Management

About the Speakers

David S. Maurer, PMP

Lieutenant Colonel, USA (Ret.)

Dave Maurer offers a wealth of experience as both a career military officer and a senior leader within the private sector. His corporate leadership pedigree includes service an Executive Vice President and Director for several firms in the Washington, D.C. Metro area. He leads a global training program spanning all 50 states, 15 countries and 2 U.S. Territories in support of the Labor Department and the U.S. military and has served as a program manager overseeing dozens of initiatives targeted toward improving access to health care for members of the armed forces and their families. In his various leadership capacities, he has supervised thousands of staff members, trainers and soldiers while ensuring quality service and support to all clients and customers.

Dave is a native of Trenton, N.J and earned his bachelors degree in economics from Seton Hall University. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army’s Adjutant General Corps and served in a wide variety of command and staff positions in the United States and overseas throughout his 22-year military career. His service included tours within the intelligence community and the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, and culminated as the 72nd Adjutant General for the United States Military Academy at West Point.

He holds a master’s degree in management from Central Michigan University. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a certified trainer through the National Veterans Training Institute. He has always been active in the local community, serving as a director of several civic organizations and as a Hospice volunteer. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the USO of Metropolitan New York City, and Washington, D.C. and Virginia based chapters of the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Association of the United States Army and the Military Officers Association of America. He currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of G.I. Jobs Magazine and is a member of the Seton Hall University Leadership Development Advisory Council.

As a professional speaker, performance consultant, and trainer, Dave offers a variety of relevant topics for diverse groups and organizations. His audiences and clients have included the World Bank, the CIA, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Department of Homeland Security, The U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, several PMI chapters, the Performance Institute, and both large and small enterprises in the private sector. He has presented at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. as well as the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, the Virginia Tech Executive MBA Program, the University of Maryland’s MBA Program and selected faculty members at West Point. Dave is a member of the National Speakers Association and the co-author of two books. His first book, published in 2008, examined the role of conflict and interpersonal skills in project management and his latest book, Leadership Essentials: How to Lead with Passion, Pride and Purpose, published in 2014, offers a compendium of essays on leadership in the new century.

About the Monthly Dinner Meetings

The PMIWDC Monthly Dinner Meetings are held at the Sheraton Tysons (8661 Leesburg Pike, Tysons, VA 22182), typically on the third Tuesday of each month (subject to change due to holidays and venue/speaker availability). Members and non-members are welcome to join us for the best speakers and networking the Washington, DC area has to offer.

The presentations are educational and informative to those professionals operating in the field of project management and functioning in leadership roles in industry and government. It is also of great value to those looking to step into the field of Project Management and begin their certification process. Each event will present specific learning points focusing on building a talent triangle of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management skills, unique to the presenter's area of expertise and the subject matter discussed while directly relating to improving the practice of managing projects and leading others. At each Monthly Chapter Event certified PMPs can earn 1 Professional Development Unit (PDU).


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