USC Price School of Public Policy

David Petraeus

David Petraeus

Judge Widney Professor

Ph.D. in International Relations

Princeton University

Biographical sketch

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 6 straight commands (5 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 later 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.

General Petraeus earned a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy, from which he graduated in 1974 as a distinguished cadet, finishing in the top 5 percent of his class. He later received the General George C. Marshall Award as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College class of 1983. He subsequently earned an MPA and a PhD in international relations from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He served as assistant professor of international relations at the U.S. Military Academy and also completed a fellowship at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.


Coughlin, C. (2013). David Petraeus is back with a warning: the war on terror is far from over. Telegraph. Web. 2 Jul. 2013.

Petraeus, D. H., & O’Hanlon, M. (2013, April 30). Fund – don’t cut U.S. soft power. Politico. Arlington, VA

Petraeus, D. H., & O’Hanlon, M. (2013, April 7). An American future filled with promise. Washington Post. Washington, D.C.

Petraeus, D. H., & Goodfriend, S. E. (2013, March 26). Training Veterans for Their Next Mission. Wall Street Journal. New York City, NY

Petraeus, D. H. (2012, Summer-Fall). CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology, In-Q-Tel, and the Private Sector. Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies: 7-10. Falls Church, VA: Association of Former Intelligence Officers

Petraeus, D. H. (201, April1). Ryan C. Crocker: Diplomat and Partner Extraordinaire. Army Magazine 61(4): 16,18. Arlington, VA: Association of the US Army

Petraeus, D. H. (2010, April) Shoulder to shoulder in Afghanistan. Policy Options.

Petraeus, D. H. (2010). Counterinsurgency Concepts: What We Learned in Iraq. Global Policy 1(1): 116–117. doi:10.1111/j.1758-5899.2009.00003.x.

Petraeus, D. H. (2007, October). Iraq: Progress in the Face of Challenge. Army Magazine 57(10):115-123. Arlington, VA: Association of the US Army

Petraeus, D. H. (2007). Beyond the Cloister. The American Interest Magazine [252]

Petraeus, D. H. (2007). The US Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. (Forward)”FM-3-24″[251]

Petraeus, D. H. (2006, March). A Conversation with Lieutenant General David H. Petraeus. Insights 3(1): 2-5,28-29. Suffolk, VA: Lockheed Martin

Petraeus, D. H. (2006). Learning Counterinsurgency: Observations from Soldiering in Iraq. Military Review[250]

Petraeus, D. H. (2004). Lessons of the Iraq War and Its Aftermath. Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Petraeus, D. H., Carr, D. P., & Abercrombie, J. C. (1997, May-June). Why We Need FISTs—Never Send a Man When You Can Send a Bullet. Field Artillery (3):3-5. Fort Sill, OK: US Army Field Artillery School.

Petraeus, D. H., & Brennan, R. A. (1997, February). Walk and Shoot Training. Infantry Magazine 87(1): 36-40. (Ft. Benning, GA: U.S. Army Infantry School.

Petraeus, D. H. (1989, Summer). Military Influence And the Post-Vietnam Use of Force. Armed Forces & Society 15(4): 489–505. Piscataway, NJ: SAGE Publications. doi:10.1177/0095327X8901500402. OCLC 49621350.

Golden, J. R.; Kaufman, D. J.; Clark, A. A., & Petraeus, D. H. (Eds.)(1989). NATO at Forty: Change Continuity, & Prospects. Westview Pr.

Petraeus, D. H. (1987, December). Korea, the Never-Again Club, and Indochina. Parameters 17(4): 59-70. Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College.

Taylor, William J., Jr., & Petraeus, D. H. (1987). The legacy of Vietnam for the U.S. military. In Osborn, George K. (Ed.) Democracy, strategy, and Vietnam : implications for American policy making. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

Petraeus, D. H. (1987, February). El Salvador and the Vietnam Analogy. Armed Force Journal International.

Clark, A. A., Kaufman, D. J., & Petraeus, D. H. (1987, February). Why an Army? Army Magazine 38(2): 26–34.

Petraeus, D. H. (1987). The American military and the lessons of Vietnam : a study of military influence and the use of force in the post-Vietnam era. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University. OCLC 20673428.

Petraeus, D. H. (1986, Autumn). Lessons of history and lessons of Vietnam. Parameters 16(3): 43–53. Carlisle, PA: US Army War College.

Petraeus, D. H. (1985, January). Review of Richard A. Gabriel’s The Antagonists: A Comparative Combat Assessment of the Soviet and American Soldier. Military Affairs 49(1): 17–22. Lexington, VA: Society for Military History. doi:10.2307/1988272. JSTOR 1988272. OCLC 37032240.

Petraeus, D. H. (1984, December). Light Infantry in Europe: Strategic Flexibility and Conventional Deterrence. Military Review 64:33–55.

Petraeus, D. H. (1983, November). What is Wrong with a Nuclear Freeze. Military Review 63:49–64.

Lorenz, G. C., Willbanks, J. H., Petraeus, D. H., Stuart, P. A., Crittenden, B. L., & George, D. P. (1983). Operation Junction City, Vietnam 1967 : battle book. Ft. Leavenworth, KS: United States Army Command and General Staff College, Combat Studies Institute.