Johnny Smith

CEO and Founder


Johnny began his personal protection career over 29 years ago in U.S. Special Operations, conducting undercover investigative assignments and operations through and beyond Desert Storm and around the globe. Since that time, he has ceaselessly pursued skills and expertise which have enabled him to safely navigate his government, military, and civilian clients through some of the most dangerous locations in the world.  Currently at the pinnacle of high-level security, Johnny is one of the most skilled professionals in his field.


After his time in Special Operations, he served twelve years as a law enforcement officer in the U.S., where he became certified in such skills as S.W.A.T., riot control, investigations, police training, instructor development, and unarmed self-defense instruction.  He served with such distinction as to be selected as the profile for his department’s large-scale, targeted recruiting campaign, and following his exemplary military and law enforcement service, Johnny was recruited as a contractor for the CIA, where he trained and served alongside truly extraordinary tactical personnel. Known for his quiet, professional demeanor and sincerity in his duties, he was soon recognized among even this elite group and was recruited to become a staff officer within the agency itself.


As a special agent and team leader for the Agency’s GRS Unit, he led these contracted special operations teams on missions throughout the world. During such missions, he oversaw up to 80 operators, delegating team assignments while also personally involved in the missions. Johnny also orchestrated the security role for Agency/government projects valued in excess of $70 million.  At the end of his tour, Johnny was selected to represent and recruit for the unit, seeking out potential applicants from the various Special Operations bases in the U.S. as well as mentoring and evaluating candidates chosen for the vetting and selection process.


Johnny’s strength lies, not just in his extensive skills and experience, but in his personal care for people and his continued pursuit of excellence.  He is a husband, father, and constant student of the warrior ethos. He credits his faith and his family as the strength behind everything he does, and he founded Sanctuary Consulting International with the goal of bringing the skills and knowledge learned in the government and military sectors to the private and humanitarian sectors.  Diligent in his maintenance of currency and proficiency, Johnny and part of his team currently reside and operate out of central Africa, where they work with government, business, and humanitarian organizations, helping them confront the challenges they face there. Additionally, he conducts training seminars for corporations and organizations across the globe.  He regularly coordinates and directs security for private individuals, locations, groups, or conferences of up to 700 participants, and in addition to being a published author and featured subject matter expert for several major security publications, his expertise is often sought after for travel security consultation and emergency response.  Amidst all of this, in his spare time, Johnny continues his path to professional excellence, a journey, he says, that never ends.


Johnny and his family currently live in Europe.



Regional Director – Africa

Finn has over 30 years experience in the security field serving in the British forces for ten years in conflict areas such as the Middle East and Northern Ireland.  Following his distinguished military service, he expanded his overseas scope, working in close protection capacities across Iraq in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense. In addition to field operations, he was responsible for weapons, tactics, and threat training for these operational units as well as designing and implementing threat assessments and protection plans.

Subsequent to his years in the Middle East, Finn worked in the U.S. at the international headquarters of two global organizations where he was responsible for creating, implementing, and maintaining global and site security programs and training for the organizations’ operations in both hostile and non-hostile environments in over 85 countries.  Along with being a graduate of Loughborough University Center for Hazard and Risk Management in the UK, and Master’s studies at Leicester University, Finn has completed extensive training and continues to utilize and pursue the most current theoretical and practical techniques from the highest-level institutions in order to instruct in counter-terrorism techniques, surveillance/counter-surveillance, and weapons and explosives search.

With operational experience in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the United States, Finn has most recently conducted threat assessments and training for organizations across the globe in such varied locations as Tblisi, Australia, South Sudan, and Iraq.  Known for his warmth, humor, and dedication to faith and family, he is currently based in central Africa, bringing with him years of experience in working exceptionally well with both government and non-governmental organizations across Europe, the United States, Africa, and the Middle East.

Brian and his family currently live in Africa.

Tim Mercer

Regional Director-       United Kingdom       


Tim is currently a High-Risk Trainer and additionally, an operational Back-watcher and Medic for the BBC, Reuters, CNN and ITN. Tim is a vastly experienced and expert consultant security adviser and trainer, working with the Media, INGOs and British Government Stabilization Unit in the provision of hostile environment and first aid training to prepare them to live and work more safely in non-permissive countries. He also undertakes crisis management tasks and security surveys.

Further to this, he provides surveillance training to American, Canadian, and European Special Forces as well as British Government agencies. During recent years he has completed an exceptionally diverse portfolio of projects both at home and overseas including traveling into Syria with World Vision International during the conflict of 2013, providing close protection for journalists in Mosul 2016 – 2017 during the period Iraqi and allied forces were retaking the city from ISIS. In September he accompanied journalists into Northern Mozambique and obtained the story about the uprising there.

Tim is a former member of Police Special Operations where he worked as a surveillance operator during the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Tim and his family currently live in the United Kingdom.

Jacques Mouton

Regional Director-Americas 

Jacques is specialized in building international supply chains; international operations coordination; emergency evacuation planning for both crises and medical emergencies; policy writing and auditing for business continuity and operations at the international and regional level; operational expansion analysis and planning; risk analysis and management, strategic analysis; and emergency preparedness planning and mitigation.

Jacques attended the University of South Florida where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences with a focus in Chemistry. He also earned two Master’s degrees, one research degree focused on international operations to include policy development and programs and the other focused on non-profit and for-profit administration. He concluded his education with a six-month Cybersecurity boot camp where he learned security measures and threats recognition in the cyber realm.

Jacques has conducted international multi-site research on security, operations, and transition management concerning Sudanese and Congolese refugees outside of their birth country. Prior to joining Sanctuary International on a full-time basis, Jacques served as the head of safety, security, and emergency preparedness for a 7 hospital healthcare system in the United States. In that role he oversaw all aspects to include, crisis/emergency management, training, policy, administration, and organization. As a leader, Jacques strives for excellence in all that he does and works for impact and exponentiation of both influence and progressive change. He teaches international security, safety, policy, field trauma medicine, and  emergency preparedness/planning in the United States, Africa, Asia, and Australia. His current interests are in international business and politics, emergency/disaster preparedness, international relations, international security, global strategy, health, and secondary and tertiary decision effects.

Jacques and his wife have been married for 11 years and they have three daughters. He is a former Special Forces Green Beret where he learned and practiced intelligence operations, advanced tactical medicine, and unconventional warfare.   In the summer of 2019, Jacques and his family will be relocating to France to launch the Sanctuary International Consulting and Training Center based out of Paris (Charles de Gaulle). This center is being established to cater to people needed services in Europe, while also serving as a convenient location for people to fly to from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

In today’s changing threat-scape, security is of growing concern for organizations, individuals, and regions historically free of such challenges. In a world where humanitarians, missionaries, business, and infrastructure concerns are increasingly targeted, Sanctuary’s mission is to train and protect those who would go out into the world to make it a better place. Our team is made up of long-time professionals who understand and support the spirit and conviction of those who venture into unknown lands, and we understand the responsibility of equipping and enabling those who would travel into areas of risk.