Duty of Care in the Spotlight at ASIS

One of the greatest assets an organization has is its people, and this year, Duty of Care was a major focus at the ASIS conference in Philadelphia, with several speaker presentations about best practices and lessons learned.

Several presenters shared their stories about how Duty of Care plays a role in the security director’s position. “Duty Of Care: What’s The Security Director’s Role?” was hosted by Suzanne Garber, Chief Networking Officer, International SOS, who was joined by Jason Dury, International Security Manager for SAIC; Edward Levy, Security Consultant; and Robert Martin, Director of Corporate Security for Shire Pharmaceuticals.

One point that all stressed is that a Travel Risk Management plan is a team effort and all must be on the same page. “None of us operate in a vacuum,” said Garber, who noted that in the Duty of Care and Travel Risk Management Global Benchmarking Study that security ranked second only to HR when it comes to primary responsibility and coordination responsibility for Duty of Care.

Building a plan is important, as well as working with other departments to carry out and practice the plan, said Dury. “It makes your response time much faster,” he said.

Levy suggested starting out with a basic plan that covers the bases, then expand from there. Assign a person responsibility for the plan. Then make constant updates.

“It has to be something that’s scalable for your company,” said Martin. “Understand the needs and make sure the program you are implementing addresses those needs.”

There can be challenges to overcome:

  • Creating awareness with the c-suite on the value of a TRM program;
  • Keep all departments aligned;
  • Who owns the financial responsibility?
  • Who is the decision maker?

These are all great points to ponder when creating a Duty of Care and Travel Risk Management program.

Other programs that touched on Duty of Care included “Decoding Mexico: Understanding the Risks Facing Business Travelers” with Pablo Weisz, regional security manager; and Alex Puig, regional security director for International SOS. Also, “Security Threat Intelligence: Evaluation and Response” with Craig De Campli, International Security Director, KPMG, and myself. Craig and I really enjoyed doing this last one, because we both had held the position of Director of Intelligence and Threat Analysis at our previous careers at the Department of State.

We also heard from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, among other distinguished speakers, and I was able to catch up with many colleagues from all over the world.


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