Emde's awareness of the variances in security around the world is key to his leadership of ASIS International. He is a native of the Netherlands and is the organization's first non-U.S. president, a role which underscores the "international" in ASIS International. The association is not "International" in name only, in fact, an ASIS chapter was established in Europe in 1959. Still, he sees that there is work to be done to broaden the membership base. One of his self-described goals -- and one that matches the organization's strategic plan -- is to expand the ASIS footprint around the world, but he's quick to point out that "this is not growth for the sake of growth." As businesses operate on more of a global scale with supply chains and offices operating internationally, he says it is key to ASIS International's role to be there to support them. Today, the organization has 230 chapters in 62 countries and members in even more countries than those 62.
Even as the association expands its support for global members like Emde, the organization has to closely watch the needs of its members, especially as they are challenged by economic and cyber-security pressures that members may not have felt in the past. "The next 2 to 3 years will be very interesting as to what it means for our jobs," Emde says. "Even if we see a return to more promising economic circumstances, I don't think companies will immediately return to their previous levels of spending."
That means heightened demands on business support functions like security. But in the end, that's nothing new to a proficient security leader like Emde, who says good security managers already recognize the 24-7 nature of their job and the need to be exceptionally efficient. "We are used to doing more with less," he says.