Iona University Alumnus Pursues Career of Service with the FBI and U.S. Marine Corps
Former Class Speaker and Campus Leader Jesse A. Ouellette ’11 Takes Pride in Serving His Country, Applying Lessons from Iona Toward His Career
As an assistant general counsel within the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it’s understandable that Jesse A. Ouellette ’11 can’t go into much detail about his job. But, as an attorney assigned to the National Security & Cyber Law Branch, he is privileged to practice national security law for a range of clients across the country.
At the same time, Major Ouellette also serves in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He had joined the Marines in 2012, was on active duty from 2016 to 2021, and then transitioned to the Marine Corps Reserves in April 2021. He is currently assigned as a Deputy Staff Judge Advocate within the Marine Corps’ Training and Education Command.
What does he love most about these two opportunities?
“I am honored to have the privilege of belonging to institutions whose mission serves our country's best interests,” said Major Ouellette, who attended New Fairfield High School in Connecticut and currently lives in Alexandria, VA.
As a student at Iona, Major Ouellette was widely active across campus, including various leadership roles. He majored in political science with minors in pre-law and philosophy.
When it was time to graduate, his peers chose him to be the Commencement speaker for the Class of 2011. He then went on to receive his Juris Doctor from The American University Washington College of Law, Class of 2015, in Washington, DC.
Looking back at his time at Iona, Major Ouellette said he made lifelong friends and especially credited Dr. Tricia Mulligan, now Iona University Provost, and Dr. Jeanne Zaino, professor of political science, as making a lasting impression on his career.
“Both of these leaders approached their profession with a positive mental attitude that was infectious to all those who studied under them,” he said. “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.’”
“At Iona, I made lifelong friends and had an experience that allowed me the opportunity to quench my undying curiosity,” he added. “I cherish each and every friend I had the honor to make, professors I had the privilege to learn from, and experience I had the opportunity to live.”
Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just six percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.