Retired Gen. David Petraeus to Speak at Judson | Judson University Christian College

Judson University’s 2020 World Leaders Forum to feature retired Gen. David Petraeus

Petraeus to share insights from 37-year military career this October in Schaumburg

Gen Petraeus (ELGIN, IL Feb. 4, 2020) Judson University announced today that foreign policy expert and retired Gen. David Petraeus will keynote the ninth World Leaders Forum on Oct. 20 in Schaumburg. Petraeus served 37 years in the U.S. military, including as commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, before being appointed by then-President Barack Obama as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 2011. In civilian life, Petraeus now serves as chairman of the KKR Global Institute, an investment firm, and holds various roles supporting veterans service organizations.

“General Petraeus is the most respected and influential military leader in the post-9/11 world. He represented American values on the world’s stage for many years,” said Judson University President Dr. Gene Crume. “As conflicts grow around the world, General Petraeus will offer our community a measured, experienced perspective on global issues.”

Distinguished Judson University alumnus Mark Vargas will moderate a Q&A session with Petraeus. Vargas met the acclaimed general while serving as a civilian on a Department of Defense task force to stabilize Iraq through economic development, and they remain in close contact today.

Now in its ninth year, 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. Proceeds from the event fund the Judson Leadership Scholars program, innovative entrepreneurial activities and ongoing operations of the World Leaders Forum.

The bipartisan group of previous keynote speakers includes 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.

For the second year, the World Leaders Forum will be held off campus at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center to accommodate growing interest in the event. A VIP reception with Petraeus will precede the program at 5 p.m., and the speaking program will begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets to the 2020 World Leaders Forum program and VIP reception are available to the public starting today. For ticketing and sponsorship information, visit

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. He currently serves as chairman of the KKR Global Institute, an arm of the global investment firm KKR. He is an honorary professor of the University of Birmingham in England and is a board member of the Institute for the Study of War, the Atlantic Council 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.

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