John Riordan

Senior Consultant

John Riordan has been committed to challenging people and organizations to reach their full potential for many years – first as a leadership program founder and director in East Africa, and now as an organization and leadership development consultant based in Washington, D.C.

John knows what it means to face the challenges of leadership and produce real results under extremely difficult conditions. In 1990 he embarked on a journey to Uganda, East Africa. What began as a three month trip turned into an eight-year investment in the future of a nation struggling to overcome a tragic history of genocide, racism and anarchy. Witnessing the catastrophic condition of that nation in 1990, John and two colleagues developed a vision for a community that would build a new generation of leaders to guide the future of Uganda. What emerged from this vision was Cornerstone Leadership Academy – a comprehensive boarding school experience for young adults focusing on leadership, character, spiritual and intellectual development.

As co-founder and Director of the Academy, John dealt with the challenges of turning a revolutionary vision into a reality in the midst of racial and tribal tensions, scarce resources, and numerous physical hardships. John and his wife Margaret lived on-site in the rural community, side by side with the Ugandan teachers, students and staff who literally helped to build the school from the ground up. In 1998 John successfully handed the leadership of the community over to the Ugandan staff he had developed over the years (including several of the school's own graduates). These same committed colleagues continue to build leaders for that nation to this day. Over 500 graduates of the Academy have gone on to take positions of leadership and service in their communities, schools, universities, national government, business, and religious ministries. Several are currently undertaking the establishment of similar Leadership Academies in war-torn Rwanda and Southern Sudan.

Today John brings his rich and diverse experiences to bear in working with organizations and individuals, helping them establish strategic and business plans, build strong teams, and fully develop their leadership capacity. He prefers to grapple with the "real work" that needs to be done, whether helping clients lay out specific strategies and action plans, establish practical operating agreements, or identifying specific leadership challenges to overcome. While John naturally builds strong connections with his clients, he is committed to doing the hard work of pushing them to get real results.

John received his B.A. in Public Policy from Washington and Lee University (1987), and his M.A. in Educational Management from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda (1997). He and his wife Margaret have four children and reside in Ashburn, Virginia.