Jonathan Edward McConnell, founder and president of Meridian Global Consulting LLC, spoke on the leadership element “values” at our IMAGINE Leadership Conference last week.
Jonathan McConnell is from Mobile, Alabama where he graduated in the Class of 2000 at Davidson High School. He went to Auburn University, where he was elected student body president as a junior, and as an SGA outsider and non-Greek candidate. His election was the highest voter turnout in Auburn’s history. He finished his undergraduate degree in business administration in three years. Following his time at Auburn, he interned for Senator Jeff Sessions in Washington, D.C., then joined the United States Marine Corps.
While in the Marines, he served as an Infantry Officer. In July 2006, Lieutenant McConnell deployed to the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq commanding the battalion’s main effort platoon. Coming home in early 2007, McConnell deployed again six months later, but to the Syrian border. After finishing his second deployment to Iraq, Jonathan checked out of the Marine Corps in two weeks, then literally drove through the night to start law school the next day.
While concluding his first year of law school, and in response to the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates, Jonathan founded Meridian Global Consulting LLC, a global maritime security company. Meridian places Marine veterans, most of whom served with Jonathan, onboard merchant vessels as they transit across the coast of Somalia. Jonathan’s company has since conducted ground security operations in West Africa, Southeast Asia and other high-risk areas throughout the world.
We thank Jonathan for sharing his story with our students.