Episode 12: With Margaret Coggins on creating mechanisms to reduce risk in organisations

Episode 12: Margaret Coggins

As the title suggests, this podcast is all about unearthing a new perspective on risk.

My guests are experts in their fields where they impact risk either directly or indirectly. My interviews aim to lift the lid on risk and rip it apart to give you a whole new perspective on it.

My name’s Lisa Sisson and I am founder of risk consultancy, Unearth. I’m also becoming known somewhat as a “Risk Rebel”.

At Unearth we believe that risk starts and ends with people. Equally, we believe that opportunity starts and ends with people. So if you’re not looking at risk with, through and by your people, then you are not only leaving your organisation exposed to risk, you are also not opening up the opportunities that a people-centred risk strategy will deliver.

My guest on this episode of our podcast has had a remarkable career, including 20 years as a Senior Manager for the US Secret Service.  Dr Margaret H. Coggins is a subject matter expert in workplace violence prevention programs; school and campus safety; insider threat and fraud prevention models; and, protective intelligence investigations.

She is a trusted advisor and an experienced security consultant, bringing over 30 years of  specialised work in the prevention of targeted violence, threat assessment, behavioural analysis,  and change management. As a psychologist, Dr. Coggins’s approach emphasises proactive prevention and intervention strategies to mitigate risk. From her law enforcement background, Dr. Coggins implements operationally relevant, tactically sound, and practically valid solutions. She routinely consults on best practices for program design and implementation, policy development, communications  strategies, and training to achieve safety and security objectives. Much of her current work is  focused on consulting with businesses, corporate clients, schools, and institutions of higher  education to implement threat assessment programs.

Dr. Coggins is a former Federal executive, having served nearly 20 years as a Senior Manager for  the United States Secret Service Office of Protective Research, and the Chief of its Behavioral  Research Program. Her areas of responsibility included: providing risk assessment research,  consultation, and training in support of the Secret Service protective mission, and the study of  threatening and high-risk behaviors directed toward the President of the United States. Dr.  Coggins’s research efforts provided the foundation for the Secret Service school safety initiative, leading to current best practices in the prevention of targeted violence in schools.

Following 9/11, she was appointed as a Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Air Marshal  Service, to support its transformation to a Federal law enforcement mission, retiring from Federal  service in 2012.

Dr. Coggins earned Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts degrees in psychology from the  Catholic University of America. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Dickinson  College. Her work has been published in several scientific journals and she served as an adjunct  Full professor for the George Washington University.

Here are some of the themes we cover in this conversation

  • The difference between”making a threat” and “posing a threat”. Understanding the differences – in behaviour, motivation, capability, consequences – as factors that influence how concerned one needs to be about potential threats
  • How intervention support can be useful in mitigating risk and the importance of creating a mechanism to provide support.
  • Early identification indicators of risk and the pathway to risk.
  • Changing the thinking around culture issues and reporting behaviour.
  • The importance of top leadership commitment in an initiatives success.

Connect with Margaret

Connect with MH Coggins LLC

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