Ret. General David Petraeus World Leaders Forum | Judson University Christian College

Gen. David Petraeus Shares Nonpartisan Leadership Perspective at World Leaders Forum 10th Anniversary

WLF2021 (SCHAUMBURG, IL - November 5, 2021) Retired Gen. David Petraeus shared insights from his decorated 37-year military career and unique nonpartisan point of view during Judson University’s World Leaders Forum Friday night in Schaumburg. Petraeus marked the 10th anniversary of Judson’s speaker series, held annually to inspire the next generation of leaders and give the greater Chicago community access to prominent global leaders.

Petraeus discussed his military career with distinguished Judson University alumnus – and event moderator – Mark Vargas, who recounted how he became connected with the General during his civilian service in Iraq. They covered topics including the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, serving during two presidential administrations, his new roles since retiring from military service, and the people who influenced him early in his career.

“Early in my career, I made unexpected, nontraditional choices that led me to fortunate places. This gave me a vantage point of observing people in leadership positions at a young age,” said Petraeus. “I was unbelievably fortunate to have extraordinary mentors, and I was a good mentee because I took advantage of the opportunities that my mentors offered to me.”

“Since our inaugural event ten years ago, we have surprised and inspired guests of the World Leaders Forum through meaningful conversations with some of the most interesting leaders of our time,” said Judson University President Dr. Gene Crume. “General Petraeus has added to that roster through his candid conversation about service and thinking beyond our deep political divides to find common goals.”

Petraeus was originally scheduled as the 2020 keynote speaker, but the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A key feature of the World Leaders Forum since its inception is the intimate setting, allowing attendees to build authentic connections to guests and leaders within the greater community.

Judson University’s World Leaders Forum brings recognized world leaders to the Chicago area to provide an opportunity for Judson students and community members to be inspired by significant thought leaders. Previous keynote speakers include former President George W. Bush, former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair, and most recently former U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. Proceeds from the World Leaders Forum fund Judson’s Roeser Scholars program, which provides leadership development, entrepreneurial initiatives, and higher education opportunities for youth in foster care.

About Retired General David Petraeus
General David H. Petraeus served more than 37 years in the U.S. military, concluding his career with six consecutive commands, five of which were in combat, including command of coalition forces during the surge in Iraq, command of U.S. Central Command, and command of coalition forces in Afghanistan. Following his service in the military, Petraeus served as the director of the CIA during a period of significant achievements in the global war on terror. In civilian life, Petraeus is a partner with the global investment firm KKR and chairman of the KKR Global Institute, which he established in May 2013. He is also a member of the boards of directors of Optiv and FirstStream, a venture investor in more than 15 startups, and engaged in a variety of academic endeavors. He is currently a visiting fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute, co-chairman of the Global Advisory Council of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, senior vice president of the Royal United Services Institute and a member of the Trilateral Commission. He is also a member of the boards of the Atlantic Council, the Institute for the Study of War and more than a dozen veterans service organizations.

Petraeus has received numerous U.S. military, State Department, NATO, and United Nations medals and awards, including four Defense Distinguished Service Medals, the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the Combat Action Badge, the Ranger tab, and master parachutist wings, and he has been decorated by 13 foreign countries.

Petraeus graduated with distinction from the U.S. Military Academy and subsequently earned a doctorate in an interdisciplinary program of international relations and economics from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.


See photos from the event here:

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