Dr. (Amb.) Victoria Omonigho Ekhomu has been named the 2023 recipient of the Bill Zalud Memorial Award for Professional Excellence. The award is given out each year to an individual or organization for professional excellence and/or outstanding service/acts in the security profession. The recipient also displays a commitment to the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO)’s professional development opportunities for the security profession.

In 2017, Security magazine and the IFPO founded the Bill Zalud Memorial Award for Professional Excellence, named in honor of former Security magazine Editor in Chief and Editor Emeritus Bill Zalud. Bill Zalud began his career in the U.S. Army. In 1987, Zalud became the editor of both SDM and Security magazine. He spent over three decades covering and shaping the security industry. In 2009, Zalud became the Security magazine Editor Emeritus and continued to conduct research and write insightful articles, columns and blogs. He was the author of the Zalud Report, a popular column about technology and industry trends. The archives of his column are available online at securitymagazine.com.

This year’s recipient, Victoria Ekhomu, has lead a career of more than 40 years in the security field, including a variety of leadership positions. Her influence extends internationally, from her home country of Nigeria to the United States, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and more.

Following Ekhomu’s undergraduate graduation, Ekhomu spent time in the Nigerian Service Corps as a Subeditor for the Nigerian national news. Ekhomu then moved to the U.S. to join her husband, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where together they founded TRANSWORLD Consultants Inc., an asset protection organization for the West African region. The company, which Ekhomu is still managing director and CEO of, has since expanded to cover security guard services and certification training and education.

Ekhomu was also the first female Chapter Chairman for ASIS in Nigeria. Ekhomu’s work focused on terrorism and anti-corruption, starting with a conference in Lagos following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

“I later became Assistant Regional Vice President and Regional Vice President (RVP) for ASIS International, where I presided over West, Central and Northern Africa,” says Ekhomu.

As the RVP for ASIS International in West, Central and Northern Africa, Ekhomu was instrumental in getting the Abuja, Nigeria chapter and the Ghana chapter chartered. She was then promoted to Senior Regional Vice President, where she worked closely with ASIS leadership in the region to hold conferences and monthly meetings.

“ASIS International later appointed me to be the ASIS African Advisory Chairman, reporting to the President & the Executive Director Micheal Stack, where I presided over Africa,” said Ekhomu.

Ekhomu eventually prioritized her work on the ASIS African Advisory Board. In 2019, Ekhomu was appointed to the ASIS Board of Trustees and reappointed for a second three-year term, which she is currently serving.

While discussing the motivation behind her work, Ekhomu says she’s determined to continue the legacy left behind by her husband, who was her collaborator in the security field.

“I am determined to continue his legacy, which was huge, since he mentored me and allowed me to excel in the same industry. My husband, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, lived a very impactful life, and I want to emulate him,” says Ekhomu.

“I am delighted that my hard work is gradually being recognized,” says Ekhomu. “I am encouraged to strive for more knowledge and to give back more to the society that has done so much for me.”

Learn more about Ekhomu’s career and the Bill Zalud Memorial Award here.