John Guandolo – Knights of Malta and the Peruvian Hospital Ship

A retired United States Marine Corps officer and FBI special agent, John Guandolo applies his skills in counterterrorism and national security as the vice president of strategic planning for Strategic Engagement Group. Additionally, John Guandolo belongs to the Knights of Malta.

For nearly 1,000 years, the Knights of Malta (full name: Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta) has provided medical attention to people in need. Operating in 120 nations and holding permanent observer status from the United Nations, the group conducts missions of chivalry, and trains people in first aid and other medical care. More than 80,000 people volunteer with this group.

One of the Knights of Malta’s most notable humanitarian initiatives is the Hospital Ship, which is run by its Peruvian Association. Sailing along the Rio Napo, the Hospital Ship visits rural locations in Ecuador, the Amazon, and Peru. Throughout 2014, this ship’s medical crew performed more than 50,000 procedures, including births. Additionally, its on-board cash dispenser makes it easier for its employees, including local teachers, to obtain salaries. Despite some initial distrust of the indigenous population, the Hospital Ship has become a major success and receives the support from local communities. The Knights of Malta’s Peruvian Association hopes to expand its presence in the Amazon with as many as a dozen ships.


Author: John Guandolo

John Guandolo, a counterterrorism consultant at Strategic Engagement Group, Inc., also contributes his time to the Centennial Institute as a Strategic Threats Consultant. The institute, part of Colorado Christian University, works to promote the public understanding of freedom, family, and faith issues. This is accomplished through research, policy analysis, and seminars and conferences with students, staff, faculty, and outside experts such as John Guandolo. He also co-authored Shariah: The Threat To America: An Exercise In Competitive Analysis (Report of Team B II). As Vice President of Strategic Planning and Execution at Strategic Engagement Group, John Guandolo assists law enforcement, government, military, and intelligent community leaders on how to prepare for and respond to terrorist threats. Prior to accepting a position with Strategic Engagement Group, he served the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Subject Matter Expert. During his time in this role, he developed the agency's first training course on the threat of Muslim extremism and issues posed by the rise of Islamic law. John Guandolo joined the agency as a Special Agent, where he led SWAT team operations, participated in investigations, and served as an Advanced Capability Medic. His accolades include two Awards for Investigative Excellence, given by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and the Defender of the Homeland Award, given by United States Senators John Kyl and Joe Lieberman. John Guandolo graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1989 and was a Company Commander during his senior year. He is a member of the Force Recon Association, a non-profit fraternal organization that promotes the fellowship of those who have served in military reconnaissance units. John Guandolo also holds membership in the Knights of Columbus, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and the Order of St. Crispin. He enjoys hiking, competing in triathlons, and camping.

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