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David Petraeus

71 - David Petraeus
2012 Rank: 100

Former CIA Director
When Petraeus retired from his celebrated Army career, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen (No. 60) compared him to generals Ulysses S. Grant, John J. Pershing, George Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower as one of the “great battle captains of American history.” More than any other officer of his generation, Petraeus has influenced countless leaders of all ranks within the US military and forces worldwide. While Petraeus famously resigned his job as head of the CIA in November 2012 after admitting to an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, he has since kept a low profile. In the last months of 2013, he joined several veterans organizations and taught courses at The City University of New York and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Petraeus was hired in May by the investment firm of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts as the chairman of the company’s newly created KKR Global Institute to study new investment opportunities. His ability to always see the big picture and link seemingly disparate political, social, economic and cultural factors puts him in a rare intellectual category. And whenever he gets the chance, he makes the case for retaining the counterinsurgency lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, arguing it’s a skill set the nation can’t afford to relinquish. Petraeus wrote a lengthy forward for the book titled “Surge” about the influx of 30,000 US troops in Iraq in 2008-2009, written by one of his top aides, Pete Mansoor. 

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