Major Jesse A. Ouellette ’11 Takes Pride in Serving His Country, Applying Lessons from Iona Toward His Career with the FBI and U.S. Marine Corps

Alumni Success

Name: Jesse A. Ouellette
Graduation Year: Class of 2011
Major: Political Science
Minors: Pre-law, Philosophy
Graduate Degree: Juris Doctor
Hometown: Alexandria, VA
High School: New Fairfield High School, New Fairfield, Conn.
Current Employment: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Assistant General Counsel and U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate

What do you love most about what you're currently doing?
I am honored to have the privilege of belonging to institutions whose mission serves our country's best interests.

I began my current position with the FBI in April 2021. Simultaneously, I left active duty in the Marine Corps and transitioned to the Marine Corps Reserves.

At the FBI, I serve as an Assistant General Counsel within the FBI's Office of the General Counsel, National Security & Cyber Law Branch. I practice national security law for a range of clients throughout the country.

With the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, I am currently serving as a Deputy Staff Judge Advocate within the Marine Corps' Training and Education Command, Headquarters Marine Corps. This position is like in-house counsel to the Commanding General of Training and Education Command. My portfolio there consists of command legal advice that ranges from administrative law to military justice.

What is the lasting impact Iona has made in your personal and professional life?
At Iona, I made lifelong friends and had an experience that allowed me the opportunity to quench my undying curiosity.

What advice do you have for a current Iona student who wants to follow a similar path?
It is true that hard work pays off. However, hard work needs to be balanced with allowing yourself to experience all that life has to offer. Through that, you will build human connections that will not only benefit your career but also pay dividends for your happiness throughout the rest of your life.

Was there a professor, staff member or peer who made an impact on you while you were at Iona? If so, who and why?
Doctors Tricia Mulligan and Jeanne Zaino made a lifelong impression on my intellectual development and career motivation.

Both of these leaders approached their profession with a positive mental attitude that was infectious to all those who studied under them. My classmates and I never left a single class or exam bored or discouraged. Their leadership through example inspired confidence and a fighting spirit that emulated Iona's motto, “Fight the Good Fight.”

What’s your fondest Iona memory?

I cherish each and every friend I had the honor to make, professor I had the privilege to learn from, and experience I had the opportunity to live.

What were your past involvements on campus?

  • Student Commencement Speaker for the Class of 2011
  • Psi Sigma Alpha: National Political Science Honor Society
  • Phi Zeta Chapter, Co-President
  • Democracy Matters, Chapter Founder and President
  • Student Government Association, Class Senator
  • World Goju Karate Club, President and Black Belt Assistant Instructor
  • Psi Rho Pi Fraternity, Inc., President 

Do you have a favorite quote?
"Whatever you are, be a good one." This quote is attributed to Abraham Lincoln but may first have come from the mind of the American essayist Laurence Hutton. Whomever conjured up the phrase, it resonates with me to this day. This quote implores us to be the best version of ourselves, in both our private and public lives. Many mentors in my life have lived by the message of Lincoln's (or Hutton's) words and inspired me to do the same.

Jesse A. Ouellette aboard a military ship.