ASIS International appoints first president from South Africa

Issue 1 2022 Editor's Choice, News & Events, Associations, Training & Education

With over 30 years of international security risk management experience, during which he held several senior management positions in leading multinationals across different sectors, Malcolm Smith has been appointed as the 2022 president of ASIS International. Not only is Smith the first president from Africa, but also the first from South Africa.


Malcolm Smith.

Smith is currently based in Qatar as the head of Risk Management and Technical Support for Qatar Museums and the senior executive of Al Haffa Consulting. His resume reads like a Who’s Who of leading companies, both globally and in South Africa. He was previously the group head of Security at Sasol, head of Group Security and Safety Services at Nedbank, CEO of Checkport, head of Security Africa at Diageo, regional security manager sub-Sahara Africa for Royal Dutch Shell and head of Security at Old Mutual.

As far as his qualifications are concerned, Smith holds an Executive MBA from Henley Business School, Bachelor of Law (LLB) from UNISA and an Executive Leadership in Information Assurance Degree from EC Council University. He is also a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and Senior Certified Professional in HR (SHRM-SCP). He also holds membership with the IODSA, IRMSA, ACFE, ISACA, SHRM and ATD.

Paying his due

While Smith’s resume is impressive, it’s worth noting that he worked for every position and qualification mentioned above. Speaking to Hi-Tech Security Solutions, Smith recalls starting out in Kliptown, Eldorado Park in Johannesburg. His first ‘job’ was selling peanuts and apples at the local bioscope (cinema). This was also his introduction into the security industry.

In those days (over 40 years ago), the area where he operated was gangland territory, which meant traversing dangerous areas to his suppliers and then getting back again with his stock intact. He also recalls going home late at night and knocking on the door of his family home while having his back to the door and then backing into the house.

His next stop was the military where he was able to develop his leadership skills as well as his talent and passion for training and developing people. This passion remains and today he is a coach and mentor, still making a difference in the lives of people. From the military he moved into the private security world and as the cliché has it, never looked back as he earned various qualifications and more senior roles in the industry.

ASIS calling

It was in 2004 that Smith joined ASIS in South Africa, specifically the Johannesburg Chapter. Having obtained his CPP in 2005 (more on the various ASIS certifications can be found at www.asisonline.org), he was asked to take part in volunteer leadership roles in the association. He then moved up to the role of chapter chair and further to the role of senior regional VP.

In 2012 he was asked to join the ASIS International Strategic Planning Committee, which gave him access to many of the senior members of ASIS as well as a global perspective on the industry. From 2017 onwards he was a member of the ASIS international Board in a variety of roles.

Now, after about 16 years as a volunteer leader, he is the president of ASIS International. Smith is still passionate about developing people and viewing security from a people perspective. While his focus will be on the global organisation, pursuing goals of Leadership by Design as well as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), he is also determined to find and develop talent in all the chapters in order to bring strong leadership to the fore in the regions (ASIS is divided into six regions: North America, Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific).

Smith says ASIS is in the business of education and connecting security professionals globally; the various chapters are essential to ASIS to bring the essence and professionalism of what the organisation stands for to the various regions. Smith will be visiting Kenya and South Africa in the second quarter of 2022 to meet and encourage the local organisations and their members.

He believes that certifications and having the appropriate credentials are important to the development of every person in the industry, noting that certifications earned from ASIS are recognised worldwide and demonstrate the individual’s credibility, competence and adherence to standards and a code of conduct. These factors are all vital to potential employers.

Hi-Tech Security Solutions will cover the developments and plans of ASIS in South Africa in future issues.

Find out more about ASIS South Africa at www.asissa.co.za/


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