Biography

Biography2018-07-09T11:26:46+00:00

Michael is the President and CEO of O’Neill Paragon Solutions, LLC providing full crisis management, risk management and duty of care support to NGOs and private sector clients. He is a recognized leader in international safety and security risk management, having started his professional career in 1995. He is a highly respected global thought leader and strategist in the development and professionalization of international NGO safety and security risk management.

“(Michael’s) approach is professional, thorough, and engaging. He delivered results on time and on budget. Michael’s work with us helped our team in many ways. His engagement with other departments and colleagues was particularly helpful at a time when we’re seeking their buy-in for more thorough global safety and security standards… Our entire senior leadership team has been very impressed with his work and the standards we’re implementing.”

Michael currently serves as the chair of the International NGO Safety and Security Association (INSSA).  He served as the Director of Global Safety and Security and as a Senior Adviser at Save the Children from 2002 – 2017.  Prior to taking up these positions with Save the Children, Michael served as the Coordinator of Volunteer Safety and Overseas Security at the Peace Corps (1995-2002). In these positions, Michael has been a leader in establishing and institutionalizing effective safety and security risk management systems; formulating policies, standards and procedures in risk management, safety and security, and crisis management; conducting field security assessments; developing and delivering a variety of safety and security-related training courses; and coordinating agency support of staff in their efforts to reduce safety and security risks and mitigate crises.

Michael served for six years as the chair of the InterAction Security Advisory Group (SAG) and several years as the international NGO representative on the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC).  He has presented lectures and conducted seminars at leading US universities and international forums and has contributed to many studies and publications focusing on NGO safety and security risk management. In 2011, Michael led the OFDA-funded Collaborative Learning Approach to NGO Security Management research project exploring the efficacy and application of the Acceptance approach to security management.  He has developed several on-line training modules for NGO staff and international travelers.  Michael is the 2009 recipient of the InterAction Security Advisory Group Distinguished Achievement Award.