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Certification Profile: C. Joshua Villines, CPP, PCI, PSP

​C. Joshua Villines, CPP, PCI, PSP, admits that his expertise in security originated with his family. When he was 15, he began working at the investigative and security agency owned by his father, John C. Villines, also a triple certificant. (The elder Villines was profiled in January’s Security Management.) After holding every position from clerical assistant to field supervisor in that firm, Villines trained as an interrogator in the U.S. Army, specializing in Russian and counterintelligence.

In April 2011, Villines became the executive director of the Human Intelligence Group. “Watching my dad train, mentor, challenge, and lead by example gave me a master class on what security management looks like at its best,” he says. In his current position, Villines oversees certified instructors who provide training to law enforcement and private agencies. 

“The dynamic nature of threats requires that we stay current on the latest crime prevention and counterterrorist research, standards, and published guidelines,” he says. Efforts to reinforce his proficiency in these competencies motivated Villines to pursue all three ASIS board certifications. Also, “there might have been some good-natured rivalry with my dad,” he admits. The elder Villines had been a Certified Protection Professional® (CPP) for a decade before Joshua Villines achieved that goal in 2013. “I edged him out by earning the PCI [Professional Certified Investigator®] a few months before he did in 2015,” he says, and both had earned the Physical Security Professional® (PSP) by 2016. This year, Joshua Villines begins a three-year term on the ASIS Professional Certification Board.

When preparing for the exams, Villines encourages others to integrate the study materials with their current job requirements. He fosters this concept within his own agency. “Any staff member who meets the criteria for board certification is eligible for reimbursement for the cost of the certification as well as one ASIS review course,” he explains. 

In addition to his certifications, Villines holds master’s degrees from Mercer University and Vanderbilt University. He also completed more than 40 hours of law enforcement firearms instructor training in 2016. Part of his agency’s mandate is tailoring curriculum that originates in the military and law enforcement communities to the demands of private and institutional organizations. “I particularly enjoy working with faculty in an educational setting to integrate safety in ways that foster rather than inhibit good teaching,” he says. In one K-12 system, an inspirational teacher  gave students room to examine and question personal and school safety issues, says Villines. As a result, he continues, “the students viewed safety as a source of confidence, not fear.”

Villines believes that security management as a career integrates a range of skills, “from the core competencies that any manager must have to the ability to respond quickly and calmly to crises where lives hang in the balance.” He says that his ASIS membership has given him access to the best published standards and guidelines in the field as well as to cutting-edge education. “ASIS has allowed me to tap into a large network of subject matter experts whose collegiality and support makes my work possible,” he says. “My favorite thing about my job is knowing that the work we do makes people safer.”


Profile by Mary Alice Davidson, Principal, Davidson Communications.