July 12 2023

TSF Announces DEI Effort

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is critical to the security profession. Known for a non-diverse workforce at all levels, several organizations, public and private, are engaged in strategic thinking and visionary collaborations to address DEI challenges in security.

In 2021, the International Security Foundation (ISF) created a Diversity Committee, then chaired by TSF Board member Buffy Payne. A year later, during its board Strategic Planning session, the ISF identified DEI as one of the priority focuses with the overarching theme to “Promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for the Benefit of the Security Profession.” As a further commitment to DEI the TSF board and staff began annual DEI training in 2023 with Dr. Ron Brown, noted DEI consultant.

TSF DEI initiatives are funded through restricted donations to TSF and unrestricted TSF Board designated funds. We also are working with ISF grantees to educate about the importance of DEI in their staff and leadership and  balanced representation in the programs that we fund through our grants programs.

The 2023 Joint DEI Summit

Recognizing that TSF had the resources to do so, we hosted the first joint DEI Summit in April 2023 in Washington, D.C., with four other leading organizations in the security profession (pictured here):

TSF believes that to make any measurable change requires a combined, coordinated effort by many organizations. By bringing the initial group of five organizations together, we hope to collaborate to start building programs, awareness and educational opportunities for underrepresented people in the security profession.

One of the key objectives of the Summit was to create a Joint DEI Statement, laying out the groups’ commitment to DEI and sharing next steps for the coordinated effort.

Read the Joint DEI Statement.

Visit for FAQs about TSF DEI and Joint DEI initiatives.

TSF Board members also dedicated additional resources to this initiative by funding a new position, Director of Programs, in spring 2023 to spearhead the collaborative work of the five organizations, which have formed the Joint DEI Task Force. Carly Coaty, who is an expert in program management, is leading the subsequent efforts of the Joint DEI Task Force, formed following the DEI Summit.

The Joint DEI Task Force

“The Joint DEI Task Force is one of the first of its kind in the security profession,” notes Carly Coaty. “United in their unwavering dedication to advancing DEI within the security space, this group highlights the collective commitment of each organization to this strategic priority and serves as an embodiment of their actions.”

The inaugural Joint Task Force is:

  • ASIS: Peter O’Neil
  • DSAC: Colin Daugherty
  • TSF: Buffy Payne, TSF Board member
  • ISMA: Arlin Pedrick
  • OSAC: Christina Johnson

“By dedicating resources to this crucial focus area, this group is paving a united path forward,” Carly adds. “DEI isn’t an afterthought on this transformative journey—it’s woven into the very fabric of decision-making and growth, leading the way to an inclusive and progressive future. The ISF eagerly anticipates the endless possibilities for growth under this initiative.”

CONTACT Carly Coaty, Director of Programs, [email protected]Phone: 832-543-1442 x105