A leader and mentor in the security industry
Gregory Robinson, Vice President, Global Corporate Security for TransUnion, is an unsung hero in the security industry, whose exceptional leadership qualities and unwavering positive attitude have left a profound impact on security projects, programs and departments.
With a humble, yet remarkable journey that began in the Harold L. Ickes Homes, a Chicago Housing Authority public housing project in Chicago South Loop, Robinson's childhood experiences have instilled in him a deep sense of determination and commitment to making a difference.
Vera Robinson, Robinson’s mother, was an untiring community and church volunteer. Her love for her community served as Robinson’s first example of the importance of public service, mentoring and giving back, he says.
Displaying his dedication and competitive spirit from an early age as both a scholar and an athlete, Robinson lettered in track and football while competing on Iowa State University’s Taekwondo Karate team. He learned that the first step in being a mentor and coach is to be coachable and have the willingness to follow.
His journey as a true public servant began when he joined the U.S. Army, Military Police Corps (MP Corps), says Robinson. Joining the MP Corps was a natural fit for him, as it was an opportunity to serve the public by keeping soldiers, their families and their communities safe and secure.
Robinson obtained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and honed his leadership skills at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. During his military career, he held critical roles in several global locations, including Company Commander during Operations “Just Cause” in Panama, Operations Officer at the Leavenworth Military Prison and a tour of duty near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea.
Robinson’s public service career culminated with several tours with the Department of Defense, located within the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Robinson credits his rise through the ranks of the U.S. military to the leaders who have helped him foster his career growth and leadership style. Mentorship has and continues to be an invaluable element of his career, says Robinson. He defines his leadership by his passion for giving back and coaching the future leaders of the security industry.
“Leaders at all levels have a duty to mentor and coach when possible,” says Robinson. “I have been very fortunate and blessed to have had many amazing peers, teammates, senior mentors and leaders who took an interest in coaching and mentoring me throughout my professional career.”
With an innate ability to strategize and execute complex military operations, Robinson transitioned into civilian life and made significant contributions to the private security industry.
“Success is a team sport that can only be achieved through trust and teamwork.”
— Gregory Robinson
Shortly after leaving the military, Robinson’s invaluable contributions to the industry extended to the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he served as the Senior Director of Security.
One of his most memorable accomplishments happened as a security leader for the U.S. men’s and women’s Olympic basketball teams during the London Olympic Games.
“Being a part of the men’s and women’s Olympic gold medal victories was a highlight of my career,” says Robinson. “It was the perfect blend of public and private service.”
He also earned widespread recognition for his innovative approach to event security as the arena security leader for the NBA All-Star Game played in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. At the time, with a crowd of 108,713, that game became the highest-attended basketball game in history, setting a new Guinness World Record, according to Robinson.
“The success I experienced at the NBA was a direct result of high-performing teammates, peers, amazing leadership and mentors,” he says.
This wealth of global experience, vision and ability to adapt to diverse cultures and environments eventually led him to take on leadership roles in other prominent organizations including Director of Security for Chesapeake Utilities Corporation.
Today Robinson is Vice President, Global Corporate Security at TransUnion, a global information and insights company with over 12,000 associates operating in more than 30 countries. As VP of Global Corporate Security, he is responsible for development, implementation and operations of TransUnion global security risk management strategy and associated programs.
“It’s a privilege to be a part of the TransUnion Global Team, as mentoring, leadership and coaching is a top priority there,” he says.
He works with “amazing” leaders, partners and mentors at all levels in the organization while demonstrating passion, knowledge and unwavering commitment to safeguarding the organization, colleagues and the general public.
Robinson attributes his overall successful journey to his mother, college coaches, military leaders, peers, colleagues, mentors and his current private sector leadership who guided, counseled and mentored him, setting the conditions for him to add value to the business goals and strategy while succeeding in the security field.
“Success is a team sport that can only be achieved through trust and teamwork,” he says. Robinson credits his mentor Del Goetz with sharing a nugget of wisdom in his book The Wolf Credo which relates to teamwork, loyalty and communication.
The motivating nuggets are: “Respect the Elders, Teach the Young, Cooperate with the Pack, Play When you Can, Hunt When you Must, Rest in Between, Share Your Affection, Voice Your Feelings, Leave Your Mark.” Robinson says this leadership mentality and mentorship has informed his successes throughout his security career.
Not only is Robinson a security industry expert, but he is also a man of family and faith who attributes his success to a strong moral compass and unwavering dedication to his work. His exemplary leadership has undoubtedly made him a revered figure in the security community, and his influence continues to inspire and shape the future of the industry.
Looking back at his career as a military veteran, sports & entertainment executive, energy and financial sectors leader, Robinson says he hopes to be an example of what can be done through scholarship, perseverance and uplift.