I have been privileged to enjoy a wonderful career in public service, dedicated to securing our homeland, protecting our Nation’s leaders, and preserving the freedom and liberties that we too often take for granted.
Thirty years ago, as a young professional embarking upon my career, I would have never dreamed or imagined that my life’s work would take me on this rich and rewarding journey. My path has been filled with interesting and complex challenges, and engaged with smart, dedicated, and hardworking professionals in law enforcement, academia, government, and business. My experiences were incredible, and the professional and personal relationships I formed remain invaluable…and together, they shaped the passion and respect I have for the importance of the work that I have been fortunate to contribute to over the years.
At the Secret Service, I developed my admiration for the dedication of law enforcement to preserve our rights, protect the public, and uphold the democratic rule of law. I also learned about the complex and delicate balance between individual rights and the public safety, played out in the struggles of mental illness, competence, duty to warn, and criminal responsibility. I had the honor of working with the some of the most esteemed researchers and academicians in mental health law and public policy, through our affiliation with the prestigious National Science Foundation, the Institute of Medicine, and the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mental Health and the Law. Through my experiences and responsibilities at the Secret Service, I developed my expertise in risk assessment, threat management, behavioral analysis, and the important role of social science research in criminal justice applications.
Following the tragedies of 9/11, I moved to the Federal Air Marshal Service to help with the “stand-up” of that organization, with its new mission as a law enforcement agency. It was through my experiences at the Federal Air Marshal Service that I learned about the complicated interrelationships between people in organizations, their leadership, and the business culture as fundamental to employee engagement and productivity. I came to appreciate that constructs such as resilient leadership, quality of work life, and workforce satisfaction are as central to effectiveness as are competence, skill, and training. At the Federal Air Marshal Service, I refined my leadership style, developed my understanding of the role of diversity and inclusion as a business imperative, and applied my training as a psychologist to improve organizational health in the broadest sense as a necessary condition for achieving results and fulfilling the mission.
So, in this chapter of my career – as Founder and CEO of MH Coggins & Associates – my commitment is to continue my legacy by applying my expertise, sharing lessons learned, and developing innovative approaches in the risk management, threat assessment, behavioral analysis, operations research, strategic management, and organization culture domains…..this is what I am good at, and this is what I love to do!
My competitive edge is defined by connecting and integrating risk management principles with human capital strategies…..after all, leadership commitment, talent management, employee engagement, and diversity and inclusion are vital to the safety and security of any enterprise, the productivity of any business, and the integrity of any brand. I am motivated today by similar issues that I confronted in my roles in public service.