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Evolution of the Owner’s Role in Program Management – Activity: “C”-Level Executive Sponsorship (#2 in the series Evolution of the Owner’s Role in Program Management)
By Robert Prieto

Traditional Owner Role: “C”-Level Executive has direct management oversight of executive in charge of program delivery and oversight. Executive interaction will vary broadly based on styles and competencies of the Program Level Executive and the “C”-Level Executive

Owner Role Under Program Management: “C”-Level Executive gains improved separation of delivery and oversight vectors enhancing the probability for earlier identification and resolution of issues. “C”-Level day-to-day interaction will likely be reduced in the execution area and quality of assessment of program progress strengthened. Interactions with Program Manager will be focused on areas requiring strategic shift by Program Manager; review of any significant performance issues as reinforcement of the Program Level Executive’s own findings and conflict resolution of issues not resolvable at the Program Executive’s Level. This later category of isues will be required to be at a threshold level in order to engender “C”-Level Executive Involvement. Interaction in these settings with Program Manager’s representatives will be above the Program Director’s level.

Program Manager’s Role Under Program Management: Executive sponsor for the Program Manager will interact with the Owner’s Program Level Executive on a periodic basis to ensure performance objectives of the Program Management team are being met. Quarterly-type meetings with the Owner’s “C”-Level Executive and the Program Level Executive will focus on strategic issues; program level change management, including organizational change management; contract administration issues and any areas of dispute.

Robert Prieto, Senior Vice President

Robert Prieto is senior vice president for Fluor, where he leads strategy for Fluor’s Industrial and Infrastructure group. Mr. Prieto focuses on the development and delivery of large, complex projects worldwide.

Prior to joining Fluor, Bob served as chairman of Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. As head of PB’s board of directors, he was responsible for overseeing management performance, establishing top-level policies, and ensuring the firm’s continued long term success.

He is a member of the executive committee of the National Center for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, a member of the board of directors of the Business Council on International Understanding, a member of the board of the Civil Engineering Forum for Innovation, and co-founder and member of the board of the Disaster Resource Network. He currently serves on the National Research Council’s committee framing the challenges on Critical Infrastructure Systems. Until 2006 he served as one of three U.S. presidential appointees to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and served as chairman of the Engineering and Construction Governors of The World Economic Forum and co-chair of the infrastructure task force formed after September 11th by the New York City Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the board of trustees of Polytechnic University of New York, and was previously selected as alumni of the year by its New York Chapter.

He has had an executive sponsorship role in the World Trade Center Transportation Hub; West Coast Rail Modernization; Train Protection and Warning System; Level 3 Communications Long Haul Network and Superconducting Super Collider.

Prieto holds a master of science in nuclear engineering from Polytechnic University of New York and a bachelor of science in nuclear engineering from New York University.

Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) provides services on a global basis in the fields of engineering, procurement, construction, operations, maintenance and project management. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Fluor is a FORTUNE 500 company with revenues of $14.1 billion in 2006. For more information, visit

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