General David H. Petraeus

petraeus.jpgGeneral David H. Petraeus is one of the most prominent U.S. military leaders of the post-9/11 era.  He has been described as a leading warrior-intellectual and one of the great battle captains in American military history. Following his military service, he served as Director of the CIA. He is now a Partner with the global investment firm KKR and Chairman of the KKR Global Institute, which he established in 2013. 

During his 37-year career in the United States Army, General Petraeus served in Cold War Europe, Central America, the U.S., Haiti, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the greater Middle East and central Asia. He culminated his career with six consecutive commands as a general officer, five of which were in combat, including command of the Surge in Iraq, US Central Command, and Coalition and US Forces in Afghanistan. 

After General Petraeus’ retirement from the military, following confirmation by the Senate by a vote of 94-0, he served as Director of the CIA as the Agency played the central role in a number of achievements in the global war on terror, pursued important initiatives in the digital arena, and invested additional resources in the Agency’s most important element, its human capital.

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. from Princeton University. He subsequently taught economics and international relations at the United States Military Academy and, after leaving government in late 2012, he was Co-Chairman of a Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on North America, a visiting professor at the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College for 3-1/2 years, and from 2013 through 2019, a Judge Widney Professor at the University of Southern California and a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center (where he and a team built a website on Strategic Leadership).

General Petraeus has been Chairman of the KKR Global Institute since May 2013 and a Partner with the firm since 2014. He is also a personal venture capitalist (with investments in more than 20 startups), a member of the boards of Optiv (a top cybersecurity firm) and OneStream (a leading corporate performance management software platform), a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, a Senior Vice President of the Royal United Services Institute, the Co-Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Global Advisory Council, a member of the Trilateral Commission and Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the boards of the Atlantic Council, the Institute for the Study of War, and over a dozen veterans service organizations.

Over the past 15 years, General Petraeus has been 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, Prospect magazine’s Public Intellectual of the Year, a Time 100 selectee twice, one of Foreign Policy magazine’s top 100 public intellectuals in three separate years, and the recipient of the Madison Medal at Princeton University. He is a frequent commentator on global security and economic issues, and his pieces have been published in the Washington PostNew York TimesWall Street JournalFinancial TimesForeign Affairs, and Foreign Policy.

General Petraeus has earned numerous U.S. military, State Department, NATO, and United Nations medals, including four awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the Combat Action Badge, the Ranger Tab, and Master Parachutist Wings. He has also been decorated by 13 foreign countries, and he is believed to be the only American who, while in uniform, threw out the first pitch of a World Series game and did the coin toss at a Super Bowl.