Every year, Security magazine honors top security executives and leaders who positively impact the security industry, their organization, their colleagues and peers, as well as the national and global security landscape. They have been nominated by their colleagues and associates, and were chosen based upon their leadership qualities and the overall positive impact that their security projects, programs or departments have had upon their shareholders, organizations, colleagues and the general public. 

This year’s Most Influential is organized by five categories: Corporate Security Executives, Government, Education, NGOs and Cybersecurity. We also have two Special Recognition 
Congratulations to the Class of 2015 Most Influential People in Security! 
Our special thanks goes to Lynn Mattice and Jerry Brennan, who were our project partners and who provided subject matter expertise and research.  
Industry Focus  #MostInfluential 
For a listing of past Most Influential People in Security honorees, 


Corporate Security Executives

Richard Davis 
Managing Director Corporate Security, United Airlines

Richard Davis is a 37-year veteran of United Airlines, and has been the chief of security since 1997. Davis began his career as a security screener at O’Hare Airport in Chicago in 1973, and worked his way up to corporate security in 1989. He currently oversees and coordinates all global security efforts for United Airlines, with emphasis on the company’s anti-terrorism efforts, compliance and revenue protection. Davis puts a premium on partnering with the security leaders of companies around the world, as well as the leaders of governments that regulate and work closely with the airline community. He is the primarily liaison between United Airlines and the TSA, CBP, FBI and other government organizations. Davis serves on the security councils for both the International Aviation Transportation and the U.S. airlines Airports for America Association (A4A), and he has been chairman nine times between the two organizations. He also currently serves on the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), International Security Management Association (ISMA) and the International Security Foundation (ISF). 

Richard Falkenrath
Chief Security Officer, Bridgewater

Richard A. Falkenrath is the CSO at Bridgewater Associates, LP, which manages approximately $169 billion in global investments for a wide array of institutional clients, including foreign governments and central banks, corporate and public pension funds, university endowments and charitable foundations. Previously, Falkenrath served as part of the White House staff from 2000-2004 as Director for Proliferation Strategy on the National Security Council staff; Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Policy and Plans within the Office of Homeland Security; Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor. In this latter capacity, Falkenrath was responsible for developing and coordinating all aspects of U.S. homeland security policy and law, as well as counterterrorism threat assessment and response. He was the principal author of the National Strategy for Homeland Security. From July 2006 until April 2010, he served as Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, commanding the Counterterrorism Bureau and helping to raise approximately $300 million in grants for City-wide initiatives. Falkenrath is currently an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Michael Lynch
Chief Security Officer, DTE Energy

For 38 years, Michael Lynch has worked for DTE Energy, with the past 17 years spent as the CSO. Along with his team, Lynch has been developing equipment and programs to deter, detect and investigate crime to better safeguard DTE customers and assets. For Lynch and DTE, the principles of continuous improvement are deeply embedded within security. For example, DTE initiatives lead to the arrest of 80 energy thieves per year. Lynch and his team also developing strategies to reduce gas leaks caused by appliance theft, and use bait cars to catch and deter carjackers. His current mission for improvement is bolstering security for field workers. In 2014, DTE Corporate Security reduced the frequency of threats and assaults to field workers by 30 percent by improving the internal response plan to threats, calling for employees to leave the area immediately and retreat to a safe area. Lynch participates in the American Gas Association (AGA) Security Council, and he is the former Vice Chair of the North American Reliability Council’s Critical Infrastructure Committee and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Security Committee.

Daniel E. Schlehr
Vice President, Global Security Services, Raytheon
Daniel Schlehr is responsible for enterprise-wide security for employees worldwide, as well as the physical security for all Raytheon facilities. He directs and manages the international security program, the executive protection program, the National Industrial Security Program, investigations and counter-intelligence, special programs and information assurance. Schlehr is also responsible for Raytheon’s Flight Operations Department, and he co-leads the Enterprise Preparedness Program. Schlehr began his career as a Special Agent with the U.S. Department of State, primarily in dignitary protection and criminal investigations. He is a graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and the Foreign Service Institute. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Justice and Forensic Science from the State University of New York at Oswego. He has served in the Industrial Security Committee of AIA and the National Industrial Security Program Policy Advisory Committee (NISPPAC), and he represents Raytheon as the private sector co-chair on the Executive Working Group of the Overseas Security Advisory Group (OSAC). 

John E. Turey, CPP
Senior Director of Enterprise Risk and Security Management, TE Connectivity
John Turey is responsible for leading enterprise risk management, business continuity, crisis management and security strategies across TE Connectivity, a $14 billion global technology leader providing connectivity and sensor solutions to customers in more than 150 countries across a wide range of industries. Turey has more than 20 years of experience in international business continuity and security. Prior to joining TE, he was responsible for corporate security and business continuity with ITT Corporation, a chief security officer at American Standard Companies, and managing security for Avon Products in Asia Pacific. He is an active volunteer with security industry organizations such as ASIS International (currently on the Foundation Board of Trustees), International Security Management Association (current Chair of the Education Committee), and Global Security Risk Management Alliance (currently serving on the board of directors). Turey earned a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in security management from Sacred Heart University and is board-certified in security.

Congressman Michael McCaul
10th District of Texas, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee
Congressman Michael McCaul is currently serving his sixth term representing Texas’s 10th District – which stretches from Austin to the Houston suburbs – in the United States Congress. In January 2013, Rep. McCaul became Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, working to prioritize the threat of international and domestic terrorism, border security, cybersecurity, airport security and fixing dysfunctional management within the Department of Homeland Security. Rep. McCaul also serves on the Foreign Affairs and the Science and Technology Committees and as Chairman of the Mexico-U.S. Inter-parliamentary Group. Congressman McCaul is the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional High Tech Caucus and the Cybersecurity Caucus, and in 2008, he co-chaired the Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency. Prior to being elected to Congress, he served as Chief of Counter Terrorism and National Security in the U.S. Attorney’s office, Western Division of Texas, and led the Joint Terrorism Task Force charged with detecting, deterring and preventing terrorist activity. He also served as Texas Deputy Attorney General under current U.S. Senator John Cornyn, and served as a federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section in Washington, D.C.

Bill A. Miller
Director of the Diplomatic Security Service, United States Department of State

Bill Miller was appointed April 14, 2014, to be the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security and Director of the Diplomatic Security Service. Miller is a career member of the Senior Foreign service, having joined in 1987, and his previous assignment was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for High Threat Posts in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. For his leadership in guiding the U.S. Government’s security response to the revolutionary events of the “Arab Spring” during his last overseas assignment – a three-year posting in Cairo, Egypt – Miller was awarded the Department’s Superior Honor Award. Preceding his assignment to Cairo, Miller was the Chief of the Security and Law Enforcement Training Division at the Diplomatic Security Training Center in Dunn Loring, Virginia. He has also served for a year in Baghdad as the Regional Security Coordination Officer for the Coalition Provisional Authority and as the first Regional Security Officer for the newly established U.S. Mission to Iraq, for which he was honored as the 2004 Diplomatic Security Service Employee of the Year. Before joining the Department of State as a Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent, Miller served as a U.S. Marine Infantry Officer. 

Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
2nd District of Maryland, House Appropriations Committee

Currently serving his seventh term in the United States House of Representatives for the citizens of Maryland’s 2nd District, Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger also serves on the House Appropriations Committee, including the Defense and State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs subcommittees. This assignment comes after a committee-record 12 years serving on the House Intelligence Committee, including four years as a Ranking Member. In an effort to promote transparency in government, open committee hearings were restored under his leadership. Rep. Ruppersberger was the first Democratic freshman ever appointed to the committee, which oversees the collection and analysis of intelligence from around the world to ensure U.S. national security and prevent potential crisis situations – especially terrorist activity. Beginning in 2011, he worked with then-Chairman and Republican Mike Rogers to pass five intelligence authorization bills over four years, as well as bipartisan cybersecurity legislation. In 2015, they became the first dual recipients of the prestigious William Oliver Baker Award from the nonpartisan Intelligence and National Security Alliance for their leadership. 


Dr. Robert (Bob) Harkins
Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Security, The University of Texas at Austin 

A 27-year military veteran and recipient of more than 50 individual awards, including two Silver Stars for Valor and two Purple Hearts, Colonel (Retired) Gerald Robert Harkins retired from the military in 1993. Afterward, he became the first Director of Parking and Transportation at the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his Doctoral Degree in Education. In 2005, he was appointed as the Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Security for the University of Texas at Austin. His responsibilities include supervising the University of Texas Police Department, the Department of Environmental, Health & Safety, the Fire Preventions Service Department, the Office of Emergency Preparedness and the Department of Parking and Transportation Services. His initiatives include the development of comprehensive emergency planning system focusing on preparation and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Dr. Harkins has led the establishment of an emergency communications system, procedures and emergency operations centers that are prepared to handle crises for the campus of 53,000 students, 17,000 staff and 3,000 daily visitors.

Maureen S. Rush, M.S., CPP
Vice President for Public Safety; Superintendent of the Penn Police Department, University of Pennsylvania

Maureen Rush joined the University of Pennsylvania Division of Public Safety in 1994 as the Director of Victim Support and Special Services, then she served as the Chief of the Penn Police Department from 1996 to 2000. Now, she is responsible for managing a budget of more than $22 million and encompassing eight departments, 176 Penn employees and 550 contract security officers. Under her leadership, the Penn Division of Public Safety has been a national model for a successful private/public venture, and the Penn Police Department was the first nationally accredited campus police agency within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Rush began her career as one of the first 100 women police officers hired to serve the City of Philadelphia on “street patrol” through a pilot program. She served for 18 years with the Philadelphia Police Department, and women now comprise 25 percent of the Philadelphia PD as a result of that successful pilot program. Her time patrolling Philadelphia as a police officer taught Rush the value of partnerships, community policing, keeping calm during crisis and talking to residents – methods that she has brought with her to Penn.

Chief Hector Rodriguez
Chief of Police, Santa Ana Unified School District Police Department 

After 22 years working in the Los Angeles School Police Department, Chief Hector Rodriguez was appointed to lead the Santa Ana Unified School District Police Department in December 2013. The Santa Ana Unified School District in Orange County, California, is the sixth largest school district in the State of California, with approximately 58,000 students. Rodriguez spent 12 years working a variety of patrol, investigative and field supervisory assignments before being promoted to the command ranks. He also served as a volunteer reserve police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. Rodriguez believes that effective policing is dependent on the level of trust and collaboration that exists between police and the community. He regularly encourages his officers to engage and work with students, parents and school staff in an effort to find and address the root causes of crime and quality of life issues in the school district and community. Rodriguez holds master’s and doctorate degrees in education from the University of Southern California and a second master’s degree in executive leadership from the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy.


Basile (Laky) Pissalidis
Director of Security, Interaction

A humanitarian security professional’s mandate is to develop safe access for aid to populations at risk and suffering. This requires an in-depth understanding of global, regional and local politics, customs and habits. Basile Pissalidis is an international political analyst with decades of experience in conducting geopolitical analysis and a strong interest in identifying underlying casual principles of global events and predicting global political and security trends. He currently directs the Security Unit at InterAction – the largest U.S. alliance of nongovernmental international organizations. Throughout his career, Pissalidis has worked in some of the world’s most difficult emergencies and conflict areas, including Bosnia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Haiti, having spent several years in most of them. He has worked within the United Nations, the Red Cross Movement, international organizations, NGOs and the private sector. Previously, he served as the American Red Cross’s Senior Security Advisor, as well as for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and more.


Kevin Mandia
President, FireEye

As president of global cybersecurity company FireEye and founder and former CEO of Mandiant Corporation (acquired by FireEye in 2014), Kevin Mandia helps organizations prepare for and respond to cyber attacks. His experience gained serving on the front lines of major cybersecurity incidents is routinely requested by corporate directors, executives and government officials who face serious cybersecurity challenges. Mandia began his career in the U.S. Air Force, serving as a computer security officer in the 7th Communications Group at the Pentagon, and later as a cybercrime investigator in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Mandia has co-authored two books on responding to security breaches – Incident Response: Performing Computer Forensics (McGraw-Hill, 2003) and Incident Response: Investigating Computer Crime (McGraw-Hill, 2001). He has taught advanced graduate classes on cybersecurity at both the George Washington University and Carnegie Mellon University, and he has developed specialized cybersecurity curricula for organizations including the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Air Force and other government agencies.

Dimitri Alperovitch
Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, CrowdStrike Inc.

A thought-leader on cybersecurity policies and state tradecraft, Dmitri Alperovitch is an inventor of 25 patented technologies, and he has conducted extensive research on reputation systems, spam detection, Web security, malware, and intrusion detection and prevention. At CrowdStrike Inc., he leads the Counter-Intrusion and Detection, Labs and Product Architecture teams. Prior to founding CrowdStrike, Alperovitch was a Vice President of Threat Research at McAfee, where he led the company’s global Internet threat intelligence analysis and investigations. He is a recognized authority on cyberespionage, cyber warfare, online organized criminal activity and cybersecurity, and he has worked as a subject matter expert with all levels of U.S. and international policy makers, intelligence and law enforcement agencies on analysis, investigations and profiling of transnational organized criminal activities and cyber threats from terrorist and nation-state adversaries. Alperovitch is a frequent writer and speaker on contemporary issues in cybersecurity policy, including Chinese-sponsored cyberespionage and the use of cyber weapons on the future battlefield. He is currently serving on the RSA Conference Advisory Board, and he is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. 


Special Recognition

Michael Chertoff
Executive Chairman and Co-Founder 
of the Chertoff Group; Former Secretary, Department of Homeland Security

From 2005 to 2009, Michael Chertoff served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, leading the country in blocking would-be terrorists from entering the country or implementing their plans if they were already inside the borders. He also worked to transform FEMA into an effective organization following Hurricane Katrina. At Chertoff Group, he provides high-level strategic counsel to corporate and government leaders on a broad range of global security issues, from risk identification and prevention to preparedness, response and recovery. In addition to his role at Chertoff Group, he is senior of counsel at Covington & Burling LLP, and a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group. Prior to heading the Department of Homeland Security, Chertoff served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Earlier, during more than a decade as a federal prosecutor, he investigated and prosecuted cases of political corruption, organized crime, corporate fraud and terrorism – including the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Chertoff is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. 

Michael J. Hershman
President and CEO, The Fairfax Group, Co-Founder of Transparency International

Michael Hershman is an internationally recognized expert on matters relating to transparency, accountability, governance, litigation and security. Founded in 1983, the Fairfax Group has participated in some of the most prominent disputes around the world for the last 28 years, providing litigation support, digital forensics and security measures, crisis monitoring and response, and advice to corporate boards, executives and governments in the midst of contentious situations. Hershman himself has been appointed as the independent compliance advisor to the board of directors of Siemens AG, and as a Member of the Independent Governance Committee for international soccer association FIFA. He began his career as a special agent with U.S. Military Intelligence, and later served as a senior staff investigator for the Senate Watergate Committee. He was also a chief investigator for a joint Presidential and Congressional commission, reviewing state and federal laws on wiretapping and electronic surveillance. In 1993, along with Peter Eigen, Hershman co-founded Transparency International, the largest independent, not-for-profit coalition promoting transparency and accountability in business and in government.
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