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Gen. David H. Petraeus (US Army, Retired)
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Gen. David H. Petraeus (US Army, Retired)

A highly decorated general and one of the most prominent combat commanders in American history, David H. Petraeus has dedicated his life to public service, leading military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and then serving as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Director, CIA (2011-2012); Commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces-Afghanistan (2010-2011); Partner, KKR

Expertise In:

  • U.S. National Security
  • Terrorism
  • Patriotism
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • China

Audience & Industry

  • Associations
  • Board Meetings and Executive Briefings
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Corporations
  • Global Audiences

A highly decorated general and one of the most prominent combat commanders in American history, David H. Petraeus has dedicated his life to public service, leading military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and then serving as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

One of the most effective military leaders in recent U.S. history, General David H. Petraeus—a highly decorated four-star general, whose distinguished military career spanned over 37 years and culminated in six straight commands (five of which were in combat)—addresses the most significant global challenges facing us today, including ongoing international security issues, macroeconomic trends and the tasks of strategic leadership in the 21st century. Widely credited for changing the course of two wars—by dramatically reducing the violence in Iraq when he led the so-called “Surge” and by halting the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan when he led the operation there—Petraeus was also instrumental in reshaping American military doctrine and then in implementing it when he led the conduct of comprehensive civil-military counterinsurgency campaigns. Serving in multiple campaigns—including nearly seven years deployed following 9-11—Petraeus has been described as one of the “great battle captains of American history.” His command during many years in combat has resulted in comparisons to Ulysses S. Grant, John J. Pershing, George C. Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Following his military service, Petraeus led the CIA, where he oversaw significant achievements in America’s global counterterrorism campaign, pursued a substantial initiative to increase worldwide intelligence coverage, guided the development of a strategic plan for the agency and oversaw the establishment of a new Economic Security Center. Petraeus has received numerous prestigious U.S. military, State Department, NATO and United Nations awards, including four Defense Distinguished Service Medals, three Army Distinguished Service Medals, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Action Badge. Additionally, he has been decorated by 13 foreign countries. Petraeus is a Partner at KKR (a global private equity firm), and currently serves as chairman of the Global Institute of KKR and a Judge Widney Professor at the University of Southern California.

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Gen. David H. Petraeus (US Army, Retired)'s Speech Topics

Leadership in the Face of Adversity

A highly decorated general and one of the most prominent combat commanders in American history, General David H. Petraeus (US Army, Ret.) dedicated his life to public service, ultimately leading the military campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the greater Middle East, and then serving as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. As one of the most effective military leaders in recent U.S. history, General Petraeus led US and Coalition Forces in the most significant global challenges of the post-9/11 period and is regarded as one of the “great battle captains of American history.” In this conversation, he draws on his 38-1/2 years of public service experience and his subsequent 7 years in the private sector to share his strategic insights and perspective on leading in the face of adversity and guiding organizational change to help you address the most pressing challenges facing your organization. Whether you are an up and coming leader within your organization or a seasoned C-suite executive, General Petraeus will provide you with the leadership ideas, intellectual construct, and techniques necessary to make tough decisions in the face of adversity and be a resilient, effective strategic leader.

“Tell Me How This Ends?”: Understanding the Pandemic and its Implications for the US and the World

“Tell Me How This Ends?” At the time a Major General, David Petraeus asked this question during the first weeks of the invasion of Iraq, recognizing early on that the assumptions about what would transpire were proving invalid. Having since commanded the Surge in Iraq, US Central Command, and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan, as well as having served as Director of the CIA and a Professor and Fellow at prominent universities, General Petraeus (US Army, Ret.) seeks to answer that same question, but this time with respect to the ongoing global pandemic. Drawing on his 38-1/2 years in government, his academic endeavors, and his current role as a Partner in the global investment firm KKR and Chairman of the KKR Global Institute, General Petraeus will explore how the pandemic will end and discuss the implications of the pandemic for the global economy, geopolitics, the US economy, the US-China relationship, and business and consumer behavior. Assessing the challenges during this unprecedented time, General Petraeus will leave your audience with a vastly better understanding of the world today and a look at the future that lies ahead – which will not, as he explains, be a swift return to what we knew as normal before the onset of the pandemic.

Conversation with General David H. Petraeus (US Army, Retired)

General Petraeus invites audiences to participate in a moderated question and answer session where he addresses the significant global challenges facing countries and organizations today, including ongoing international security issues, macroeconomic trends, energy policy and the tasks of strategic leadership in the 21st century. Audiences are given unprecedented access to one of the most effective military leaders in recent U.S. history as he takes questions from the interviewer and the audience for an engaging, dynamic and thought-provoking discussion. 

Business Consulting from Gen. David H. Petraeus, USA (Ret.): Strategic Leadership in the 21st Century

Bringing in a business consultant can challenge you and your organization to think differently about your business. Whether you are a new leader seeking a renewed vision for your company or a seasoned C-Suite executive exploring new trends in the marketplace, they provide the deep, strategic insights and much-needed perspective to help you make confident and profitable decisions.

One of the most effective military leaders in recent U.S. history, General David H. Petraeus has addressed the most significant global challenges of our time — including ongoing international security issues, macroeconomic trends, and the tasks of strategic leadership in the 21st century. Widely credited for changing the course of two wars, and regarded as one of the “great battle captains of American history,” Gen. Petreaus was instrumental in reshaping American military doctrine. He leans on his distinguished public service experience to help your executive leadership team address the most pressing challenges facing your organization.

His advisory topics include:

  • Corporate Security Strategies
  • Crisis Management
  • Cyber Security Solutions
  • Global Economic Insights
  • Global Opportunities
  • Harnessing Big Data
  • Leadership
  • National Security Insights
  • U.S. Foreign Policy

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Works by Gen. David H. Petraeus (US Army, Retired)