Announcing the Appointment of General David Petraeus as Judge Widney Professor

May 2, 2013

Price Dean Jack Knott with Gen. Petraeus

Dear Price Community:

I am very pleased to announce that retired Gen. David H. Petraeus, architect and namesake of the counterinsurgency doctrine that stabilized Iraq under U.S. and allied forces and former director of the CIA, will join the faculty of the University of Southern California. You can read more about his appointment in USC News.

Petraeus has been appointed a Judge Widney Professor, a title reserved for eminent individuals from the arts, sciences, professions, business and community and national leadership. Judge Robert Maclay Widney was USC’s founder.

Petraeus’ appointment will include an affiliation with the Sol Price School of Public Policy, as well as other schools at USC. Given our school’s focus on government and public policy, as well as the academic administrative home for the ROTC program at USC, it is a particular honor that General Petraeus will be affiliated with our School and the University.

Petraeus will spend time at USC each academic semester starting this fall teaching classes, participating in seminars and panels, participating in working sessions with students and faculty, and mentoring student veterans and ROTC members.
His varied research interests include the leadership of the United States in revolutionizing energy, information technology, life sciences and manufacturing. He is interested in exploring whether such leadership heralds the start of what he calls the “North American Decades.”

Petraeus’ appointment will also include affiliations with the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the USC School of Social Work, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, and the USC Libraries.

In accepting his appointment, Petraeus said, “I am very grateful to have an opportunity to be part of a great university that prizes academic excellence, that is doing cutting-edge research in areas of enormous importance to our country, and that is known for steadfast support of its veterans and ROTC programs.”
Before his appointment as Judge Widney Professor, Petraeus served as director of CIA from 2011-2012. Prior that, he was a highly decorated four-star general, serving more than 37 years in the U.S. Army before retiring in August 2011.

A lauded combat leader and strategist, Petraeus was highly instrumental in reshaping American military tactics through his focus on the concepts of a comprehensive civil-military counterinsurgency campaign. His final assignment in the military was as commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Other four-star assignments included his service as the 10th commander of the U.S. Central Command, where he was responsible for military operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, the Levant and Egypt — and his service as commanding general of the Multi-National Force —Iraq for more than 19 months.

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.

Please join me in celebrating Petraeus’ appointment. His broad experience, exceptional intelligence and discipline, and commitment to excellence will add great distinction to our School and the University.

Jack H. Knott, Dean
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy