The Gate 15 Interview: Akmal Ali on the four core tenants of effective security management, dodging wrenches, and enjoying the Monday mornings

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In this episode of The Gate 15 Interview, Andy Jabbour welcomes Akmal AliFounder & CEO of Aluma and inOrbit. Formerly serving as the Deputy Director of the SAFETY Act program within U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Akmal was a key contributor in expanding the scope of the program, as the department considered how to responsibly leverage the granted protections to further its mission to protect the homeland. These efforts included the expansion of for security services, cybersecurity and venue security-related applications from the private sector. The impact of this expansion is still a hallmark of the program today, as operators of many high-profile venues rely upon and engage with DHS in seeking SAFETY Act protections. At DHS, Akmal participated in extensive intra- and inter-agency collaboration with other government agencies to include the Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy, and the Federal Aviation Administration. As a result of this experience, Akmal was exposed to a wide range of industries and perspectives that helped forge the underlying principles for how Aluma serves its clients today. Since departing DHS in 2011, Akmal has carried those ideals with him as he’s worked some of the country’s most high-profile and innovative companies. Akmal is based in the Washington, DC area.

In the discussion we address:

  • Akmal’s background, from Afghanistan to Jacksonville to Washington, D.C.
  • The SAFETY Act, venue security, resilience and risk management
  • Akmal’s companies, Aluma and inOrbit (and the great story of that name)
  • Volunteering with the International Association of Venue Managers, IAVM’s Academy for Venue Safety and Security and serving with “The Avengers of Security Professionals” including Brad Mayne, Mark Herrera, Joe Levy, and Alex Keen
  • Akmal shares the four core tenants of effective security management
  • Dodgeball, Patches O’Houlihan, the Detroit Lions and the Jacksonville Jaguars, great pizza, great movies, a dip into the philosophy of Akmal, and more!
“If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball”

The Gate 15 Interview is a monthly interview between Gate 15’s founder and Managing Director, Andy Jabbour and guests from throughout the homeland security risk management community addressing a wide range of all-hazards topics and issues. Read more about Gate 15’s full podcast menu at our Podcast page. You can subscribe and enjoy all the Gate 15 Podcasts on Spotify for PodcastersAppleSpotifyGoogle, as well as other locations accessible from the Spotify for Podcasters link. Week-to-week, you can hear and learn more about our all-hazards threats, risks, mitigation and other issues impacting homeland security risk management from our team as well as our regular and special guests. The full podcast menu includes:

  • The Security Sprint is our weekly rundown of the week’s notable all-hazards security news, risks and threats and some of the key focus areas for organizations to consider behind the headlines. Gate 15 team members discuss physical security, cybersecurity, natural hazards, health threats and other issues across our environment.
  • Nerd Out! Security Panel Discussion, moderated by Dave Pounder, focuses on physical security topics including terrorism, extremism, hostile events, and other pertinent topics.
  • The Gate 15 Interview, is a monthly interview between Gate 15’s founder and Managing Director, Andy Jabbour and guests from throughout the homeland security risk management community addressing a wide range of all-hazards topics and issues.
  • Venue Security, The IAVM Podcast Series is our newest podcast as Gate 15’s founder and Managing Director, Andy Jabbour hosts short interviews with venue safety and security experts from the International Association of Venue Managers’ (IAVM) Venue Safety and Security Committee (VSSC) and other special guests from the IAVM community. Starts in January 2024.
  • The Cybersecurity Evangelist, with Jennifer Lyn Walker, is a cybersecurity-focused discussion with Jen and invited guests. This is presently a Gate 15 special podcast and occasionally is updated on our Gate 15 podcast channel.
  • The Risk Roundtable, was a monthly discussion among our team and occasional guests exploring the all-hazards threats and risks impacting the United States and internationally. This was suspended in September 2023.

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