Elena Carrington manages the global risk and intelligence portfolio for Square, a mobile payments company in San Francisco. Carrington is responsible for administering Square’s travel program; overseeing all background investigations; maintaining the workplace violence prevention program; responding to threats to Square employees; and providing protective intelligence for Square executives.

Previously, Carrington worked for United Airlines, where she was responsible for analyzing security developments affecting airline crew safety, primarily civil unrest and crime. She also spent several years with the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“My advice for future security/law enforcement professionals is to build your network in a genuine and deliberate way,” Carrington says. “What I love about security is that it’s a non-competitive environment – we all build on the success and innovations of our fellow organizations and companies. When I worked in aviation, being able to benchmark and share information with other airlines was invaluable; now I reach out to my counterparts in the tech space when I need help or want to bounce around ideas. When building your network, it’s important that you protect the integrity of the information that’s shared with you, and that you also contribute when appropriate.”

Carrington is proud of her work with the Association of International Risk Intelligence Professionals (AIRIP). “This year we’re embarking on pursuing a certification program, in an effort to better standardize the role of an intelligence analyst. The work I’ve done with AIRIP has been among the most meaningful in my career thus far. There is so much energy among our membership to truly codify the role of an intelligence analyst and better articulate how we can support the missions of our companies and organizations.”

Carrington is also proud to chair the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Women in Security (WiS) group that encourages female perspectives and participation in OSAC initiatives; enhances diversity and inclusion in the security field; and enables participants to ascend to leadership positions in the security field. “The energy in our group is palpable,” she shares, “we’ve actually needed to take a deliberate, slow-growth approach so that we can deliver on everything we promise our membership. Since our launch, we’ve offered a few standalone events and we’ve also partnered with some of OSAC’s outreach groups. Some of our members have branched out and created their own content and networking events. Working on the WiS group is a true collaboration with the five other women on our Steering Committee, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with such an enthusiastic and dedicated group of professionals!”