This profile was part of the Faculty of Public Affairs’ 75 for the 75th series, which highlighted 75 notable alumni in FPA in honour of Carleton University’s 75th anniversary. These stories were published in 2016 and 2017.
Co-Founder, Security Partners’ Forum
Bachelor of Arts, Criminology and Criminal Justice (’07)
When Grant Lecky and co-founder Bonnie Butlin first developed the idea for the Security Partners’ Forum in 2011, they were responding to the “fragmented and siloed nature of the security community.”
“It limited the ability of professionals to communicate and develop as a profession in the face of new conditions and adapting threats,” explains Mr. Lecky. “We found issues identified in one part of the country that the rest of the security community were not yet aware of.”
In response, they created the Security Partners’ Forum as a non-profit “agile network” that emphasizes communication over membership and hierarchy. It includes more than 100 security professionals around the world and has branched off into groups for executives, women in security, cybersecurity and security educators. He and Ms. Butlin—an alumna of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs—oversee the forum on a volunteer basis. Both were recently named “top 50 influencers in security” by IFSEC Global.
Mr. Lecky says the growth of the organization reflects his bigger vision.
“I’m helping to further professional security – everything we do stems from that,” he says. The forum has received numerous accolades and Mr. Lecky was recently named “Cybersecurity Professional of the Year” by the Information Security Group. “It’s imperative that we break these siloes and allow information to flow more freely.”
Mr. Lecky cites his ability to identify trends in their early phases and his deep understanding of the science of security with enabling him to scale up the agile network in unprecedented ways.
He first became interested in crime and security during a field placement at Correctional Services Canada, arranged through Carleton’s Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice. But it was a job in the Privy Council Office that really opened his eyes to the growing security challenges.
“I was exposed to corporate security and emergency management and then over time I developed a better understanding of other security domains including cybersecurity,” he recalls. “Traditionally, it was contained within IT and computer science departments – it didn’t have quite the geopolitical aspect that it does now, which has increased the risks.”
Today, Mr. Lecky believes in “sending the elevator back down” for the next generation of both security and criminology professionals. When he works with students, he advises them to learn how to market their degree.
“I’d like to think I have marketed my degree effectively. Doing so has opened many doors, such as providing me the opportunity to go to graduate school as well as apply my academic work in the real world,” says Mr. Lecky, who also currently works as a security and resilience professional for the federal government when he’s not overseeing the forum. “What I learned at Carleton University helped me both jumpstart my career in security as well as contribute to the development of my global brand.”
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