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James Conway

Four-Star General & 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm
  • Twice assigned to work with the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Applies lessons learned in the field to 10 leadership principles for success
  • Brings expertise in crisis management to thriving under pressure and tackling difficult problems
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EnergyNational SecurityLeadershipGeopoliticsMilitary Leaders

General James Conway is a retired four-star general and the 34th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. One of the nation’s most highly-decorated Marine generals, he has led troops all over the world and has earned an impressive record of military achievement. Commandant Gen. Mike Hagee said Conway is a “superb, multi-talented leader who has proven he can do it all, on and off the battlefield.” Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Conway is a dynamic, powerful speaker who impresses audiences with leadership lessons learned from the field. His commanding presence and personal anecdotes make him an instantly memorable speaker as he addresses leadership, teambuilding, crisis management, U.S. challenges five to ten years out, and the military’s energy sources in the field.

A Decorated Military History and a Four-Star Strategy. Before being named commandant, General Conway’s postings included serving as the director of operations (J-3) on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force from 2002–2004, where he took part in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and Operation Vigilant Resolve in Fallujah, Iraq.

Conway began his military career as an infantry officer in 1970, with his first assignment being command of a rifle platoon with 3rd Battalion 1st Marines out of Camp Pendleton. He later served as Marine executive officer aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. He graduated with honors from the Army’s Infantry Officers Advanced Course. As a field grade officer, he commanded two companies of students, teaching tactics at the Basic School, where marines learn the art and science of being an officer. He then served overseas in Lebanon.

Once Conway returned to the U.S. in 1984, he served two years as the senior aide to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He graduated from Marine Corps Command and Staff College with honors and took command of 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines during the Gulf War, fighting in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. At the end of the war, he was promoted to colonel and assigned command of the Basic School.

In 1995, he was promoted to brigadier general and again assigned to the Joint Chiefs. There he acted as the deputy director of operations J-3 for combating terrorism. After becoming president, Marine Corps University at Quantico, Virginia, he was promoted to major general. He then served as commander of the 1st Marine Division and as deputy commanding general of Marine Forces Central. In 2002, he was promoted to lieutenant general. He led I Marine Expeditionary Force during two combat tours in Iraq, with 60,000 troops under his command.

Awards and Decorations. His personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with gold stars, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.

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Location/Travels from: MD
$10,001 - $20,000*
US East
$20,001 - $35,000*
US West
$20,001 - $35,000*
$35,001 - $55,000*
$55,001 - $75,000*

* This specific fee falls within this range. Ranges are presented as a guideline only. Speaker fees are subject to change without notice.
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