During the countdown to the Women Economic Forum in Birmingham, United Kingdom, we partner with Dr Neslyn Watson Druee to feature a few of the most successful and intriguing high profile guests speakers attending this extraordinary gathering in June.
We came across some of the most influential leaders across industries worldwide and for the first time we have the privilege of interviewing Bonnie Butlin, from Canada
Holding a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Carleton University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Calgary, and a Graduate Certificate in Corporate Security Executive Leadership from the Burrill Green Business School (UK);
Currently in the process of completing a Micro-Master’s programme in International Law from the Université Catholique de Louvain, Bonnie has completed a variety of specialized courses through such institutions as Harvard University, Georgetown University, MIT, Columbia University, University of Tokyo, ETH-Zürich, and UC Berkley.
Co-founder and executive director of the Security Partners’ Forum (SPF), Bonnie Butlin was ranked first in her category of international security management, education and thought leadership for the IFSEC Top 50 influencers in security and fire 2017. This recognition adds to Bonnie’s already impressive achievements across Canada and the globe.
Since 2013 Bonnie has received 13 international and national-level awards and accolades related to security, resilience and leadership including most recently being appointed to the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network in Cybersecurity in 2017.
Recipient of the “Women of the Decade” Award – to be presented at the upcoming 2018 Women Economic Forum (WEF) in Birmingham UK, this coming June, Bonnie started this year as the Finalist for the Women in IT Awards 2018 – “Global Leader of the Year” (January 31st, 2018, London UK);
To be recognized for excellence in the field of International Security Leadership goes way beyond exceeding expectations and being recognised for your talent or skills. Are other women involved in SPF?
Yes there are. The Security Partners’ Forum itself is a platform for professionals in the security resilience, public safety, defence, intelligence and law enforcement domains across the globe.
The first-of-its-kind agile international network of security professionals is bridging all domains and disciplines of security under one roof. Under the SPF, the Women in Security and Resilience Alliance (WISECRA) was created which engages a growing network of women in the security and resilience disciplines across the globe. To date more than 40 Women in security and resilience related groups participate in the WISECRA network
You have been referred to as ‘Canada’s First Lady of Security’. What is your role within the Security Partners’ Forum?
I was given that name by SecurityInfoWatch back in 2015 when I was getting ready to speak at the “Secured Cities” conference in Houston Texas. As for my role within the SPF I serve as the Executive Director which means that I oversee the day-to-day operations of the global network. I also serve as the International Coordinator of the WISECRA sub-network which we discussed above, and I am also Chair of the National Council of the Canadian Cybersecurity Alliance (CCA), and other sub-network within the SPF which has since become the largest inter-association cyber initiative in the world today. In terms of the CCA, there are currently more than 100 professional associations with a vested interest or affected by cybersecurity who have come together to provide an unparalleled understanding of the cyber landscape in Canada and internationally.
You are named in the highly prestigious Canadian Who’s Who for 2017 – you made it to the list of outstanding Canadians from business, academia, politics, sports, the arts, and sciences who have made significant contributions to life in Canada. You are a thought leader too, how do you share your vision?
I have had the pleasure of writing articles for various security and defence publications across Canada and the globe. I also like to inspire and honour the security professionals who positively impact the security industry, their organization, colleagues and peers. I achieve this through regular communication across the SPF network, sharing information with my colleagues across the globe on new initiatives, speaking opportunities, call for papers, upcoming award nominations and so forth.
As a result of your vast expertise in security, resilience and other related fields, you are regularly invited to speak at numerous associations and conference across the globe including ASIS, ACAMS, AISA, and GTEC. What are your most memorable experiences as a speaker?
Each time I am given the opportunity to share my passion for security, resilience and defence, I feel truly grateful for the privilege of connecting with the landscape of an industry that evolves fast. To mention just a few, I was a guest lecturer at the National Security College in Canberra, Australia. I was selected to address the Canadian Parliament and the Senate via the Open Caucus initiative where I spoke on the state of cybersecurity in Canada. I was also invited to participate in the Halifax International Security Forum.
Currently, you contribute to a variety of committees, working groups and editorial boards, such as Canadian Standards Association Z1600 (Continuity & Emergency Management), All Ladies League (ALL) – Canada Chairperson for Security & Resilience; and Cybersecurity Journal – Henry Stuart Publications (member of the Editorial Board). What are your plans for this summer?
After The Woman Economic Forum in Birmingham I have been invited to speak at the Economic Club of Canada on June 25th which happens to be the leading speaking platform in Canada, typically reserved for senior politicians and notable dignitaries. I was also invited to write the Editorial Feature for the upcoming special “Women in Cybersecurity” edition of the “Cybersecurity Journal” (Henry Stewart Publications UK); and I will be providing a Book Review for the “Security Journal” the leading peer-reviewed publication in the security field.
To meet Bonnie and more women of excellence from across the world, join us in June at the Women Economic Forum in Birmingham