Paul Kelly first joined Tanium as one of the first 25 team members, supporting Tanium’s first customers as a director, technical account management.
Since the beginning of his tenure, Paul has proudly served as an openly gay employee and has been a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Paul helped plan and direct the Charlotte Pride Festival in Charlotte, NC., for three years, including a 2014 performance by LeAnn Rhimes.
He has also served on committees at InterPride, a global non-profit that provides training and support to Pride organizers, as well as the Board of Campus Pride, an organization that publishes a directory of LGBTQ+ friendly campuses for prospective students, faculty, and families.
Paul’s career journey led him to become director of customer marketing, responsible for building community, organizing user groups, and more. From there, Paul started his own consulting company assisting Tanium customers with enablement of the platform and more. In early 2022, Paul rejoined the Tanium team.
Today, Paul is a director, technical account management. He’s also the co-chair of Hearts United for Good (HUGCLT), a non-profit in Charlotte, NC, that aims to end stigma and address the needs of marginalized communities, including the LBGTQ+ community, within North Carolina. Paul aims to be visible and promote inclusivity and equal rights for all.
We sat down with Paul to learn more about his career and journey as an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.
Tell us about your journey to Tanium
Paul Kelly: Before coming to Tanium, I was working for Symantec as a lead technical architect for Cyber Security Services, including the Cyber Threat Intelligence and Managed Security Services groups.
During that time, I attended UNC Charlotte and obtained my Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and other certificates of knowledge.
When I joined the Tanium team back in 2013, we were exceedingly small, many of us wearing multiple hats to ensure the customer journey was successful. I was a director, technical account management, supporting our very first customers. A little over three years into my career at Tanium, I took a position as the director of customer marketing.
Eventually, I decided to start my own consulting company where I assisted Tanium customers with enablement of the platform and more. During that time, I was hired to support the Cyber Threat Engineering group at Wells Fargo as their chief strategist, working with Tim Morris, who was their cyber threat engineering leader.
After two years with Wells Fargo, I inquired about coming back to Tanium. I missed working at Tanium, and Tim Morris, who I previously worked with on several cyber security initiatives, had joined Tanium as chief security advisor. He introduced me to leadership and requested I be the technical account manager for one of our first big logo customers.
I knew my story at Tanium was not finished and I could add value by joining the Technical Solutions Engineering team. When I joined, I was a director of technical solutions engineering. I still serve that function today within the TAM organization as a director of technical account management. I am thankful to Tim and our leadership for seeing the potential in me and giving me the opportunity. I am happy to be home.
What do you appreciate about working at Tanium?
Paul Kelly: The diversity of the people and the amazing culture we have here.
I present myself as openly gay because I am comfortable doing so at Tanium. At other places where I have worked, that hasn’t always been the case. In other situation, I’ve had concerns for my safety, prejudiced behaviors, and fears will they terminate my contract if they know I am gay.
At Tanium, we have excelled at enabling everyone, including individuals with diverse backgrounds and orientations, to do their jobs. We operate as one team. Many people at Tanium have personally made my life better and are my closest friends.
I also appreciate Tanium’s volunteer days, that allow me perform service at organizations like Hearts United for Good (HUGCLT).
Doing the right thing is one of Tanium’s core values. During Pride and beyond, how has your team done the right thing by promoting belonging?
Paul Kelly: We have always been inclusive of our team members with diverse backgrounds. My team gathers as often as possible for wonderful team building activities that allow us to get to know each other and our diverse backgrounds.
We are a more effective team when we have personal connections and an understanding of our diverse backgrounds. We all can and should contribute to the success of Tanium – nobody should be seated on a bench or feel unwelcome. This is one team and one fight. This is core to who we are, and it is the right thing to do.
How can leaders influence and encourage their organizations to embrace and value diverse backgrounds and experiences?
Paul Kelly: Through education and training on unconscious bias. It’s important to give team members the knowledge and tools to break down their own biases and prevent prejudging someone’s abilities based on bias. Our leaders can exemplify this in how they conduct themselves, ensuring they are not applying unconscious or conscious bias.
How can the cybersecurity industry can support Pride and cultivate LGBTQ+ allies?
Paul Kelly: Technology is a powerful tool that can be used to promote and support Pride around the world. By sharing a positive message, we can build support and show other parts of the world that diversity and inclusion should be respected and practiced by all.
What advice would you give a person who is trying to start or grow their career at Tanium?
Paul Kelly: Be yourself, be proud, be persistent, and do not let others discourage you. I am thankful I work at a place that values me as a person.
“Inside Tanium” is part of a series that highlights the people and culture of Tanium. To learn more about Tanium and explore our range of career opportunities, visit our Tanium Careers page.