Bill Youngdahl, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Operations Management
Areas of Expertise: 

Project leadership, Project management, Global project management, Service management, Global operations management


Managing Projects, Operations Management

Professional Bio: 

William (“Bill”) Youngdahl is an associate professor of project and operations leadership and William D. Hacker Faculty Fellow at Thunderbird School of Global Management. He also serves as the academic director for Thunderbird’s Leading Global Projects executive education program. Dr. Youngdahl teaches in Thunderbird’s MBA, Executive MBA, and Executive Education Programs. His is a sought-after speaker, executive coach, and educator.

His primary area of expertise is global project leadership. In 2008, he co-authored with fellow Thunderbird professor Robert T. Moran an acclaimed trade book, Leading Global Projects: For Professional and Accidental Project Leaders. The book serves the industry as a guideline for global project leadership and is built upon the foundational values of the Thunderbird executive education program of the same name. Youngdahl and Moran have delivered the Leading Global Projects program in countries around the world, including the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Japan, Singapore, UAE, and China. They have also developed an instrument for conducting 360-degree assessments of global project leadership capabilities and use the feedback to coach individuals to improve abilities across a set of specific competencies.

Dr. Youngdahl has a strong reputation for helping others. For example, he collaborated on a volunteer project in conjunction with the Thunderbird for Good initiative and the Novartis Foundation. The project featured a week-long project management course in South Africa for the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI), a group that meets the psycho-social needs of children afflicted by life-altering crises, including HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Youngdahl has authored numerous articles for the world’s leading management publications and journals, including such prestigious outlets as Journal of Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, International Journal of Service Industry Management, and Journal of Management Inquiry. He also served as an associate editor of Journal of Operations Management, broadly recognized as the leading journal in the field of operations management.

In addition to receiving the award of the Hacker Faculty Fellowship, Dr. Youngdahl has received awards for Outstanding Thunderbird Professor, Faculty Senate Award for Publications, and Faculty Senate Award for Service.

Prior to joining the faculty at Thunderbird, Dr. Youngdahl worked in manufacturing engineering and project management positions with Xerox and Hughes Aircraft, and he served in the U.S. Navy. Since joining Thunderbird, Dr. Youngdahl emerged as an expert executive educator. His expertise in delivering executive education has been sought by such global enterprises as Novartis, ExxonMobil, and American Express, to name a few.

Dr. Youngdahl earned his Ph.D. in business administration at the University of Southern California, where he also earned his MS in systems management. He received his BS in mechanical engineering technology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.