General David H. Petraeus
U.S. Army, Retired
General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus is one of the most prominent U.S. military figures of the post-9/11 era. During his 37-year career in the United States Army, General Petraeus was widely recognized for his leadership of the Surge in Iraq, which retrieved a desperate situation and reduced violence in Iraq by well over 85%; for his oversight of the organization that produced the U.S. Army’s counterinsurgency manual and overhauled all aspects of preparing U.S. Army units for deployment to combat; and for his command of coalition forces in Afghanistan as they reversed the momentum of the Taliban and enabled the commencement of the transition of tasks to Afghan forces and institutions.
A graduate with distinction from the United States Military Academy, General Petraeus is the only person in U.S. Army history to be the top graduate in both the U.S. Army’s challenging Ranger School and the year-long U.S. Army Command and General Staff College course. He also earned a Ph.D. in an interdisciplinary program of international relations and economics from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
General Petraeus’ military career was distinguished by significant achievements during assignments in Cold War Europe, Central America, the United States, Haiti, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the greater Middle East. His career culminated with six consecutive commands as a general officer, five of which were in combat, a record believed unmatched in the post-World War II era.
After General Petraeus’ retirement from the military, and following confirmation by the Senate with a vote of 94-0, he served as Director of the CIA, during which time the Agency played the central role in a number of important achievements in the global war on terror, established an overarching strategic campaign plan for the Agency, and pursued initiatives to invest additional resources in the Agency’s most important element, its human capital.
General Petraeus is now a Partner with the global investment ﬁrm KKR and the Chairman of the KKR Global Institute, a position he has held for over two-and-a-half years. He is also a Visiting Professor of Public Policy at the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College, a Judge Widney Professor at the University of Southern California, a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Co-Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson Institute’s Global Advisory Council, and a member of the boards of five veterans service organizations and several think tanks. He is also engaged in personal venture capital investing.
Over the past decade, General Petraeus was named one of America’s 25 Best Leaders by the U.S. News and World Report, a runner-up for Time magazine’s Person of the Year, the Daily Telegraph man of the year, a Time 100 selectee, and one of Foreign Policy magazine’s top 100 public intellectuals. He has been awarded numerous U.S. military, State Department, NATO, and United Nations medals, including four awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the Combat Action Badge, and Master Parachutist Wings. He has also been decorated by 13 foreign countries.