What does a lifetime in the security field look like? For Columbus Academy’s new head of Campus Safety & Security, Perry Doran, that’s a long answer.
The Academy Life sat down with Doran to learn more about his career before he joined the CA community.
Doran is a Columbus native and was raised in New Albany. After graduating from college, Doran initially began a career in education, teaching science at Upper Arlington. After looking at other job opportunities, he describes that his move to the FBI was “somewhat unexpected.”
Doran worked 23 years as an FBI agent, initially assigned as a field agent in Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi. In that role, he handled investigations of federal crime. There, Doran says, it was generally civil rights or general criminal activities, keeping in mind that it was “pretty much a hotbed for civil rights issues in the late 60s.”
Doran then made a move to the DC area, primarily looking at domestic security cases and radical groups such as the Weatherman fugitives, a militant, far left-wing offshoot of Students for Democratic Society. Doran became a supervisor in the FBI headquarters where he oversaw these types of investigations.
In the Maryland suburbs of DC, Doran arrested one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted who was guilty of extreme violence and unlawful flight from persecution across state lines.
After becoming an agent in charge of Orlando, Florida, Doran interacted frequently with Disney, which would later lead him into a career as Director of Security of Disney for 7 years.
There, he was in charge of overseeing 4 theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, MGM Studios, and Animal Kingdom), 16 resorts (including Grand Floridian and Dixie Landing), and nighttime entertainment (such as Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island).
Doran says, “it was truly a 24-hour-day operation,” and was a “challenging, but fun deal.” He traveled to Paris to assist in the opening of Euro Disney and also helped plan the security for Disney cruise ships in Trieste, Italy.
“The responsibilities were varied, but keen, and I got to interact with a lot of people from around the world,” says Doran. One of which included Princess Diana, as Doran was tasked with securing her safety in her family trip to Disney World with her sons William and Harry.
Doran fondly remembers that Princess Diana was very “chill and low-maintenanced,” while William was quite proper – “Yes sir. No sir.” – and Harry was certainly more excitable.
After moving back to Columbus, Doran worked with Easton security, Homeland Security, and Huntington National Bank.
Doran was retired for 5 years before accepting his new position at Academy, focusing on a wedding venue business his wife runs, Lane 57 in New Albany.
Doran says he is happy to be a member of the community, having had some familiarity with Columbus Academy. In terms of his ideas for campus security, he says, “Here, I would like us to heighten the effectiveness of the personnel to where they are seen as a part of the community and included. The organizations that I have been involved in have been most effective if security or law enforcement is really interactive with the other participants in that community.”
We also asked Doran who he plans to support in the Super Bowl this Sunday. While Doran grew up a Browns fan, Doran says, “Cincinnati. No question about it. I like Joe Burrow – he’s the hometown guy.”