Team Biographies - David Burrill.


(David Burrill will continue to provide a mentoring service for CSOs and aspirant CSOs until end 2023? see bottom section of this bio)

•  Principal Mentor
•  Corporate Security & Intelligence Consultant
•  Secure Leadership Selector
•  Tutor - Burrill Green Corporate Security Business School

David Burrill has been a professional international Intelligence and Security expert and practitioner for most of his professional life. On retiring from the military in 1992, having held the appointment of Deputy Director Intelligence Corps, and Chief of Staff Intelligence and Security Centre of the UK Armed Forces, he joined BAT Industries, a major global insurance and tobacco conglomerate, and subsequently on de-merger, British American Tobacco (the world's second largest quoted tobacco group - with presence in 180+ countries), as Head of Security. David, who is a Freeman of the City of London, has had close and regular contact with the private security sector for over some 26 years.

In 2005, together with Kevin Green, David created Burrill Green Limited.

A graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the Army Command and Staff Course and the Open University, he has been a Defence Fellow of London University and is a Fellow of three British professional institutes: The Chartered Institute of Management, The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, and The Security Institute. A member of the globally prestigious International Security Management Association, he was, from June 1998 to June 1999, its President (the first non-North American to hold the position).

David is also an emeritus member of the UK's Risk and Security Management Forum.

In 2003, David became the first co-Chairman of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Security Information Service for Business Overseas (SISBO) - a public/private sector partnership initiative of which he was one of the key architects.

David was awarded an OBE in the 2004 New Year's Honours List for services to international security management.

In April 2005, David was honoured by CSO Journal with a Compass Award for visionary leadership, and by ASIS International as the first recipient of its European Leadership Award.

In November 2005 he became the first foreigner to receive a distinguished achievement award from the Overseas Security Advisory Council of the US Department of State and is the first foreigner to be granted Alumnus status of the distinguished council.

In July 2006, he was recognised by the Association of Security Consultants with the award of the Imbert Prize for distinguished achievement from citations submitted by ASIS International, the British Security Industry Association, and The Security Institute.

David was one of the first senior executives, globally, to be Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).


(Extract from David's article Mentoring - Why I can't quite let it go? in Burrill Green's final Newsletter, May 2020)

Having had, for many years, the privilege of picking and choosing my personal mentoring endeavours, as well as being invited into the role, my focus has been on people at or near the pinnacle of their corporate security and intelligence careers; CSOs or aspirants within touch of becoming a CSO. I am, frankly, not focused on their specific security and intelligence skill sets. I am much more interested in their leadership projection and articulation, their engagement with and impact on stakeholders (internal and external), their creativity and enthusiasm for and potential to innovate, their passion and their proximity to, and desire for, a 'seat at the top table', and their wider goals and roles in life in general.

Mentoring takes on many guises and these are often dependent on the level at which they are delivered. In the high-level context described by me in the previous paragraph, this is what makes mentoring professional and worthwhile:

•  An introductory meeting which will allow both parties to assess the potential for good results from the partnership. I repeat, this is not a teaching course

•  The mentor must have relevant experience, a broad perspective, and be fully trusted.

•  Relevant experience means the mentor has sat in the hot seat of organizations and succeeded (often severally).

•  A broad perspective means an ability to think differently and to understand how the mentee's organization is regarded in its marketplace.

•  The mentor should be an outsider who can manage sensitive matters that might be difficult to handle if only internal people as mentors are selected, totally confidentially.

•  Like the best McKinsey, Bain?or Boston Consulting Group consultants, having the ability to prioritize the right things at the right time. (David has provided guidance to both McKinsey and Bain for broad management and organisation projects in respect of their understanding of corporate security & intelligence matters.)

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David Burrill

burrill green publications

value from security

This book "Value From Security" demonstrates what security's real capabilities are, and what needs to be done to realise them. The experiences presented have occurred in real organisations, globally, that are reaping the rewards of being at the vanguard of this new approach to security management.

crossing the line

"Crossing The Line" is about crossing the very real line that separates the worlds of public and private security and risk management. It is a guide for key players who are thinking of switching sectors and roles and moving from one kind of organisation and operating culture to another often significantly different one.

Elastic Truth.

Elastic Truth

The book, which contains and draws upon a thesis on interrogation by David Burrill, sets a contemporary context surveying ways that truth and lies are increasingly entwined and legitimised to support behaviour that is unjustifiable and offers hope through the application of some humane principles.

Career Trasition Success.

career Transition Success

How to make successful transitions between public and private sectors in corporate security and risk management, it is a guide for key players, especially at senior level. There are lessons for all potential movers and for those needing to find, keep and develop outstanding talent.