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Former CIA director David Petraeus to work as researcher at Harvard's Kennedy School, where his affair scandal began

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  October 18, 2013 04:05 PM

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Former CIA director David H. Petraeus will work as a researcher at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, campus officials announced Friday.

The retired four-star Army general has been appointed as a non-resident senior fellow at the school’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, where he will lead a new research project, officials said.

Petraeus served as CIA director for just over a year before he resigned in Nov. 2012 due to a scandal that erupted over news that he had an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

Broadwell, who earned a master’s from the Kennedy School in 2008, met Petraeus in April of 2006 at an event at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School.

Harvard officials said Friday that Petraeus will help lead a new project on “The Coming North America Decades.”

“The project will focus on major technological, scientific and economic dynamics that are spurring renewed US and North American competitiveness, exploring in particular the impact of the ongoing energy, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and life sciences revolutions,” a press release from Harvard said. “The project also will analyze potential policy choices that could retard or enhance these transformations in ways that advance American interests.”

The center’s director, professor Graham Allison, will co-lead the project with Petraeus.

“We count ourselves fortunate to have David Petraeus making a major intellectual investment in issues so central to a center whose mission is to advance policy-relevant knowledge about the most significant international challenges,” Allison said. “He has an inquiring mind, strategic orientation, intellectual fearlessness, and appreciation of the academy that will make this a productive partnership.”

Meghan O’Sullivan, a professor of international affairs and director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at the Kennedy School, will be a member of an advisory committee for the project.

“I have worked with David Petraeus for much of the last decade – from the early days after the removal of Saddam Hussein through the implementation of the surge when he was Commander of U.S. Forces in Iraq and I was Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan at the NSC,” O’Sullivan said. “His capacity for cutting to the heart of the matter and identifying and executing policy initiatives that can bend trendlines makes him the rarest of colleagues.”

Harvard officials said Petraeus’ work on the project at Harvard will complement a Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on North America that Petraeus is co-chairing with former World Bank president Robert Zoellick, who is also a Belfer Center senior fellow.

Since leaving the CIA, Petraeus has held several positions, including: as chairman of the KKR Global Institute, a component of a New York investment firm; teaching at The City University of New York as well as at the University of Southern California; and supporting several nonprofits that help veterans.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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