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PDMA Crawford Fellow
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Crawford Fellows

The Board of Directors of the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) created the Crawford Fellows in 1991 to honor C. Merle Crawford, founder and charter President of the Association from 1976-1977. He operated the association’s office as a volunteer until 1984. Fellows are selected in recognition of superior and unique contributions that have advanced the state of professionalism in the discipline of new products management through direct contributions of knowledge, service, practice and stature in the field of managing product innovation. This is a highly selective honor, so several years can pass between appointments with a maximum of one Fellow appointed in a single year. The following individuals have been recognized as PDMA’s Crawford Fellows:


Christer Karlsson, Copenhagen Business School

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Christer KarlssonProfessor Christer Karlsson has been appointed a Crawford Fellow, based on both his contributions to the academic and professional growth of the fields of innovation and new product development outside of North America, with a resulting impact on the growth of the PDMA in those regions. He created an annual innovation conference, organized through the European Institute for the Advancement of Studies of Management that recently celebrated its 26th meeting. This annual Conference, held in various European Universities, draws between 175 and 275 academic attendees every year. The Journal of Product Innovation Management has been associated with the conference from the its beginning, publishing selected papers from the first meeting and then becoming the ‘official’ journal of the conference from the second meeting onward. This Conference has been a major engine driving PDMA’s and JPIM’s early visibility throughout Europe and was a driving force behind the creation of PDMA chapters in several European countries.


Gina O’Connor, Babson College


Albert L. Page, University of Illinois, Chicago

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Albert PageAl’s served PDMA by wearing various hats for the organization for over a decade of service to the organization. Perhaps his most well-known contributions are in the areas of best practices and success measurement research. Al initiated PDMA’s best practices research stream in 1990, designing the first best practices survey, which is now called the Comparative Performance Assessment Study (CPAS), which has provided PDMA with both brand recognition as well as a knowledge dissemination leadership position. Al’s research developed a number of critical questions on innovation, which have been asked identically in each subsequent study, providing PDMA with a very unique longitudinal understanding of the changes in practice and outcomes in new product development. His studies on measuring success in new product development (with Abbie Griffin) have garnered thousands of citations and have left a deep impact on the field of NPD. For the members of the PDMA family, Al was always a great colleague and mentor.

Watch Al Page Receive the Award


Abbie Griffin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Abbie GriffinAbbie Griffin’s contributions to the PDMA began in 1992, when she held the Vice President of Research position on the Board of Directors. In this position she designed and executed the PDMA’s research projects measuring new product success (Griffin and Page 1993, 1996) and the 1995 PDMA Best Practices (Griffin 1997, 2002; Markham and Griffin 2004), and initiated the Ph.D. Student Dissertation Proposal Competition. She was PDMA’s treasurer from 1994 – 1998. Between 1998 and 2003, she was the Editor of the PDMA’s Journal of Product Innovation Management. From 2013 to 2018, Professor Griffin was the PDMA’s Vice President of Publications. Over her association with PDMA, she has co-edited 3 editions of the PDMA Handbook for New Product Development, 3 PDMA Toolbooks for New Product Development and 3 books in the PDMA Essentials series (all published by Wiley and Sons) and published numerous articles in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, all focused on improving both academic and industry understanding of new product development.

Watch Abbie Griffin Receive the Award


Robert G. Cooper, McGill University


Thomas P. Hustad, Indiana University

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Thomas HustadTom was the 49th member to join PDMA in 1976. He was the fourth president of the Product Development & Management Association, served on PDMA’s board for over 30 years, and operated the association’s headquarters as a volunteer from his Indiana University office for 15 years, a time when membership increased from 300 to over 2600 and annual revenue increased from $10,000 to over $1,250,000. He is founder and was long time editor (15 years) of the Journal of Product Innovation Management. Creating JPIM was a high risk project at the time and took four years prior to signing a contract with the publisher which eventually provided PDMA with one of its top sources of net income. His contributions to PDMA include creating its first monograph, publishing subsequent monographs and conference proceedings, chairing its third conference in 1979 (initiating sessions on product design and featuring the first public release of the Carter White House Domestic Policy Review of Innovation in the US), and co-chairing PDMA’s first international conference held in London (1995). He was editor of one segment of PDMA’s first Body of Knowledge, focused on “Co-Development and Alliances.” By reaching out to Christer Karlsson in 1990, Tom set the stage for the ongoing relationship with Christer’s European innovation conference, greatly extending JPIM’s and PDMA’s presence outside North America. He was a member of PDMA’s Outstanding Corporate Innovator selection committee and the PDMA Foundation Board of Directors for many years, contributed to three PDMA Handbooks and many conferences and doctoral consortia, and created the book about PDMA’s history available at


C. Merle Crawford, University of Michigan

1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252
St. Paul, Minnesota 55114 USA
tel: 1-651-290-6280
fax: 1-651-290-2266

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