General David H. Petraeus (US Army, Retired) became the 20th Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on September 6, 2011. As Director, he leads the Agency and also manages human intelligence, covert operations, counterintelligence, liaison with foreign intelligence services, and open source collection programs on behalf of the Intelligence Community and the US Government.
Director Petraeus has dedicated his life to public service, retiring from the United States Army on August 30, 2011 after a distinguished 37-year career. He last served as Commander, NATO International Security Assistance Force and Commander, US Forces–Afghanistan from July 4, 2010 until July 18, 2011. His other four-star commands include assignments as the 10th Commander, United States Central Command, and as Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq during the surge.
Prior to those assignments, Director Petraeus commanded the US Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth during which time he oversaw development of the US Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual; the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq—and, simultaneously, the NATO Training Mission-Iraq—both of which he established; and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)—including while the 101st participated in the fight to Baghdad and subsequent stability operation during the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Director Petraeus was commissioned in the infantry upon graduation as a “distinguished cadet” from the United States Military Academy in 1974. In addition to the posts noted above, he held leadership positions in airborne, mechanized, and air assault infantry units in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. He also held a number of key staff assignments, including Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia, Chief of Staff of XVIII Airborne Corps at Ft. Bragg, NC, Executive Assistant for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Chief of Operations of the UN Force in Haiti.
Awards and decorations earned by Director Petraeus include four awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, three awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal for valor, and the State Department Distinguished Service Award.
Director Petraeus holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, and he was the General George C. Marshall Award winner as the top graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College in 1983. He subsequently earned MPA and Ph.D. degrees in international relations from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and he later served as an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the US Military Academy. He also completed a fellowship at Georgetown University.
Director Petraeus was born on November 7, 1952 in Cornwall, New York. He and his wife Holly live in Virginia, and they have two grown children, a son and a daughter.