Bonnie Butlin is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Security Partners’ Forum (SPF). Being the first of its kind, the SPF is an international network of security professionals bridging all domains and disciplines of security. Under the SPF banner, Butlin created the Women in Security and Resilience Alliance (WISECRA), which engages a growing network of women in security and resilience groups globally; and the Canadian Cybersecurity Alliance (CCA), which has become the largest inter-association cyber initiative in history.
Since 2013 Bonnie has received 13 international and national-level awards and accolades related to security and resilience including most recently being appointed to the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network in Cybersecurity in 2017. Most recently, it was announced that Butlin is a finalist for the Women in IT Awards 2018 – “Global Leader of the Year.” Winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner on Jan. 31st in London, UK.
Ranked #1 on IFSEC Global’s “Top 50 Influencers in Security & Fire 2017” it is no surprise then (to us as readers) that Butlin will be awarded the “Women of the Decade Award,” which is to be presented at the upcoming 2018 Women Economic Forum (WEF) in New Delhi, India this April.
The annual award is conferred on women leaders across the globe from all professions and diverse backgrounds with significant contributions in the areas of entrepreneurship, education, technology, health, media and business. The award is presented to women “who have led their companies and institutions in eminent leadership roles with distinctive achievements” (www.wef.org.in).
Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Butlin grew up aware of her Métis heritage; however, it was not until she was an adult and living in Ontario when she was finally able to access the archives and learn more about her ancestry, enabling her to feel more connected to the Métis community and to become a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario.
Butlin says her family history motivated her to enter the field of security. Almost every member of Butlin’s family has been in the military or law enforcement, starting with her great-grandfather who began his journey in military college in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and then went into the North West Mounted Police and was on the Great March West in 1874. “In our family, there was always an emphasis on serving your community and doing your part for service,” says Butlin. “And character was an important element of being a family member and community member.”
Self-described as a quiet leader and an incubator, Butlin holds various degrees and accreditations, including a Master’ Degree in International Affairs from Carleton University, a Graduate Certificate in Corporate Security Executive Leadership from the Burrill Green Business School (UK) and has a Professional Certificate in Data Analysis for Executives from Columbia University. Butlin is not slowing down any time soon – she is currently completing an advanced certificate in strategic planning for security at the University of Georgetown (in partnership with the International Security Management Association (ISMA), and is also completing a Micro-Master’s program in International Law.
Stay tuned for more on Butlin and her initiatives in an upcoming issue of SAY Magazine this spring.