2018, General David H. Petraeus, USA (Ret)
General David H. Petraeus is one of the most prominent U.S. military figures of the post-9/11 era and has been described as “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.
During his 37-year career in the United States Army, General Petraeus was widely recognized for his oversight of the organization that produced the U.S. Army’s counterinsurgency manual and overhauled all aspects of preparing leaders and units for deployment to combat; for his leadership of the Surge in Iraq; and for his command of coalition forces in Afghanistan. He culminated his military career 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.
A graduate with distinction from the United States Military Academy and the top graduate of his Command and General Staff College Class, General Petraeus also earned a Ph.D. in an interdisciplinary program of international relations and economics from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. He taught economics and international relations at the United States Military Academy and, after leaving government, he was a visiting professor of public policy for 3-1/2 years at the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College.
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, established a 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 has been Chairman of the KKR Global Institute for over five years and a Partner with the firm for more than three-and-a-half years. He is also a member of the board of Optiv (a global provider of cyber security services), a Judge Widney Professor at the University of Southern California, and a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center.
Over the past dozen years, General Petraeus has been named 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.
General Petraeus 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, the Ranger Tab, and Master Parachutist Wings. He has also been decorated by 13 foreign countries.