Tom Langer is the Vice President of Security for BAE Systems. Prior to his current position, Tom served in a number of roles within the security function of BAE Systems and its precursor companies. He received his Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Tom has served in a number of leadership roles in professional security associations, and is currently the President of ASIS International. SourceSecurity.com Editor Larry Anderson caught up with him to find out more:
How did you come to work in the security profession?
I graduated from college with a degree in criminal justice and worked for the Manchester, NH Police Department until I entered the security profession. While there is a logical connection between law enforcement and our profession, the security role in industry is much different in that it has to be seen through the eyes of a business professional in order to be successful.
What is the best professional advice you have received (and from whom)?
From my father and totally by accident. He was 60 and learning computer aided design which was making his drafting table obsolete. I asked him why, at 60, do that now? His response was that he doesn’t get to choose where advancements take his profession. I have never forgotten that and therefore never settled for the status quo. Change and advancement are a constant in everything.
What's something few people know about you?
In grammar school through high school I acted in school plays and enjoyed doing it, and for some reason never looked to ever do it again. I still have a real admiration for quality acting, especially in musicals.
What's the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living?
Helping the business successfully navigate a highly regulated environment. You should always work with the regulators to make smart adjustments wherever you can, and we do, but to whine about the complexities of the market one has chosen never seems to accomplish much. I like our approach and I know it’s appreciated. I can see it as one of the ways the business sees the value of the function.
|There is something laid back and magical about the coast of North Carolina that isn’t spoiled by commercial development|
What are your interests, hobbies and passions outside security?
I am always interested in current events, mostly politics, anywhere around the globe. I love American art and jazz and I have a real fascination with architecture of the early 20th century. Fly-fishing is my hobby and I get out and into the water throughout the year. That said, I can assure any friend of wildlife that the fish seem to have nothing to fear.
Where was your last vacation?
The Outer Banks in Duck, North Carolina. There is something laid back and magical about the coast of North Carolina that isn’t spoiled by commercial development. It’s just a relaxing time whenever we are there, regardless of the weather, and it’s when all those books I am trying to read finally get read.