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Flying High

Alumnus Marc Glasser watches over safety in the skies in the Northwest U.S. at the Federal Aviation Administration.

Alumnus Marc Glasser (BS ’85) is flying high as a U.S. Government Special Agent where his service has included safeguarding the U.S. airspace for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), investigating white-collar crimes for the U.S. Department of Transportation, and protecting three Secretaries of States for the U.S. Department of State.

In addition to his soaring career, Glasser finds time to teach at universities across the country and publishes academic and practitioner articles on emergency management, homeland security and business continuity.

“Success is about intelligence and drive,” said Glasser. “Success is about attaining a solid academic foundation. Sam Houston provided me that opportunity, application of knowledge and critical thinking, and motivation and persistence to create and further opportunity.”

As a student at SHSU, Glasser’s career path began by filling out a postcard tacked to a bulletin board in the hallway of a school building for U.S. Department of State job information. After being hired and spending approximately nine months in training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers in Glynco, GA and Miranda, AZ (believed to be no longer in service) as well as additional training in Virginia, he started his federal law enforcement career with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. The Bureau’s overall mission is to provide a safe and secure environment for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. Not only is Diplomatic Security a unique organization in the foreign affairs community--it is the only law enforcement agency with representation in nearly every country in the world.

For two years, he volunteered as a Special Agent to serve as a U.S. Diplomatic Courier. The U.S. Diplomatic Courier Service is charged with providing secure and expeditious delivery of classified material to U.S. diplomatic missions globally. Glasser’s Diplomatic Courier assignments involved traveling to five of the world’s seven continents.

“Each country has the right to transport diplomatic materials uninhibited,” said Glasser. “This is the same concept of diplomatic immunity for individuals but applied to diplomatic materials in accordance with Article 27 of the Vienna convention on Diplomatic Relations. The purpose of diplomatic immunity, regardless of country, is foreign representatives can carry out their duties effectively only if they are accorded a certain degree of insulation from the application of standard law enforcement practices of the host country. For the diplomatic courier service, the aforementioned is analogous to uninhibited transportation of classified diplomatic materials.”

At the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Glasser also was assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office to investigate U.S. Passport and Visa fraud, served on dignitary protection details and was a member of the FBI Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). JTTFs are composed of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers for the purpose of identifying and disrupting potential terrorist plots by individuals or terrorist cells and sharing that information with law enforcement and intelligence partners.

His favorite assignment, however, was serving on the protective details for three U.S. Secretaries of State, including James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger and Warren Christopher.

“I very much enjoyed serving on the Secretary of State’s protection detail,” said Glasser. “Especially, advance work -- arriving at locations far in advance of the Secretaries’ visits and facilitating multiple aspects involving security and safety elements to enhance trip-specific diplomatic mission or objectives involving many host-country, Americans and other international stakeholders at multiple sites and functions. I specifically enjoyed the organizational and project management aspects while operating within the diplomatic environment.”

During his time with Diplomatic Security, Glasser traveled to more than 90 countries. “We were ‘security diplomats’ in the Foreign Service,” said Glasser.

Glasser also worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, conducting criminal white-collar crime and fraud investigations. Much of what he investigated was intentional deception and improper compensation involving federal funds allocated to local and state transportation projects, such as roads, bridges, airports, and public transportation.

Glasser continued his federal Special Agent service by joining the FAA in 1998, where he protected the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS) in Los Angeles and later in Las Vegas. His duties included protection of FAA facilities, personnel, national security information, and making recommendations to eliminate or reduce risk or risks. While working in Las Vegas, Glasser was assigned to the Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism fusion center.

He has since been promoted to Branch Manager based out of the Seattle area, serving the FAA Western Service Area, where he supervises staff and resources for an eight-state area encompassing Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. The overall mission is critical infrastructure protection involving the NAS, such as personnel, facilities, emergency and crisis management, and communications security involving the protection of classified and proprietary information.

“It basically involves risk management,” said Glasser of his current position. “We protect the most vital and important components in the NAS, to help ensure continued air commerce activities and mitigate any disruptions. This involves risk management activities related to mission and assets protection including people, facilities and vital communication systems.”

Because of his academic background and practitioner experience in homeland security, emergency management, critical infrastructure protection, and business continuity, he has been published in academic journals and industry-specific publications and teaches, as a part-time adjunct professor, at several universities, including University of Nevada, Las Vegas; the University of Maryland, University College; Henley- Putnam University; Regis University; National University; and the University of Phoenix.

Glasser credits SHSU with providing him a competitive academic advantage in the job market because of Sam Houston’s reputation for integrating criminal justice and homeland security academic theory and principles with real-world application. He further added that industry certifications, such as the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) designation from the American Society of Industrial Security and academic publishing, has helped him rise above his peers and competition.

Obtaining your dream job, and advancing to the ‘next dream job’ and this continual progression, is a process based on having a solid academic foundation, practitioner experience, industry benchmark certifications and proven analytical and communication skills, written and oral.

Glasser concluded the interview highlighting the importance of helping others out.

Glasser said, "While those serving in the criminal justice and security fields do generally help others out, I am talking more on a personal level, where we as students, practitioners and community members have responsibility to help others out based on our knowledge, experiences and lessons learned -- whether assisting university studies or activities, career advice and progression, or individual family or other personal matters.

"At the end of the day or of a life -- this is what really matters. I hope this article is of help to others and the example of how we can all help each other out.”

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