News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

David Petraeus to Join Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School

October 18, 2013

CAMBRIDGE, MA – David H. Petraeus, a retired four-star Army general and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has been appointed a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School.

Petraeus and Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government and director of the Belfer Center, will jointly lead a new project at the Center on “The Coming North America Decades.” The project will focus on major technological, scientific and economic dynamics that are spurring renewed US and North American competitiveness, exploring in particular the impact of the ongoing energy, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and life sciences revolutions. The project also will analyze potential policy choices that could retard or enhance these transformations in ways that advance American interests.

The Advisory Committee for the project includes Venkatesh Narayanamurti, chair of the Belfer Center's Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program and former dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Susan Hockfield, former president of MIT; Mary Boies, counsel at Boies & McInnis LLP; and Meghan O’Sullivan, Jeanne Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs and director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at the Kennedy School.

The Belfer Center project will complement a Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on North America that Petraeus is co-chairing with former World Bank president Robert Zoellick, who is also a Belfer Center senior fellow.

“We count ourselves fortunate,” Allison said, “to have David Petraeus making a major intellectual investment in issues so central to a Center whose mission is to advance policy-relevant knowledge about the most significant international challenges.  He has an inquiring mind, strategic orientation, intellectual fearlessness, and appreciation of the academy that will make this a productive partnership.”

O’Sullivan noted, “I have worked with David Petraeus for much of the last decade – from the early days after the removal of Saddam Hussein through the implementation of the surge when he was Commander of U.S. Forces in Iraq and I was Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan at the NSC.  His capacity for cutting to the heart of the matter and identifying and executing policy initiatives that can bend trendlines makes him the rarest of colleagues.”

Petraeus served as CIA director from September 2011 to November 2012.  Prior to that, he spent 37 years in the Army, including roles as commander of U.S. and international military forces in Afghanistan, commander of U.S. Central Command (CentCom), and commanding general of the multi-national force in Iraq.

Since leaving the CIA, Petraeus has taken on several positions.  These include serving as chairman of the KKR Global Institute, a component of a major New York investment firm; teaching at Macauley Honors College at CUNY as well as at the University of Southern California; and supporting several non-profit organizations that serve veterans.

Petraeus holds a PhD in international relations from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton.  He was among the top graduates in his class at West Point in 1974, where he later served as an assistant professor, and he graduated first in the class of 1983 at the US Army Command and General Staff College. He later was a fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

For Release: Friday, Oct. 18, 2 p.m.

Media Contact: Doug Gavel, (617) 495-1115

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:David Petraeus to Join Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School.” News, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, October 18, 2013.