An Online Conversation with Two Former Spymasters

calendarclock - (BST)

RUSI hosted an online conversation with General (Ret) David H. Petraeus, Senior Vice President RUSI, Chairman of the KKR Global Institute and former Director of the CIA, and Sir John Sawers GCMG, Distinguished Fellow, RUSI and former Chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, also known as MI6).

In this wide-ranging conversation, General Petraeus and Sir John Sawers discussed the next big geopolitical and global security challenges for the 21st century.

The webinar will be moderated by Vance Serchuk, Executive Director, KKR Global Institute.

Speaker Biographies

General (Ret) David H. Petraeus joined the global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) in 2013 as Chairman of the KKR Global Institute. He was made a Partner in late 2014. The KKR Global Institute is heavily involved in the KKR investment process and oversees the firm’s thought leadership platform focussed on geopolitical and macro-economic situations, as well as environmental, social, and governance issues.General Petraeus is also a personal venture capitalist, a Judge Widney Professor at the University of Southern California, Senior Fellow at Harvard University and Senior Vice President of RUSI.

Prior to joining KKR, General Petraeus served over thirty seven years in the US military, culminating his career with six consecutive commands, five of which were in combat – including command of coalition forces during the Surge in Iraq, command of US Central Command, and command of coalition forces in Afghanistan. Following his service in the military, he served as the Director of the CIA, leading the Agency during a period of significant achievements in the Global War on Terror.

General Petraeus graduated with distinction from the US Military Academy and subsequently earned MPA and PhD degrees in international relations from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has received numerous US military, State Department, NATO and United Nations medals and awards, and he has been decorated by thirteen foreign countries. He also has been a runner-up for Time’s Person of the Year, one of US News and World Report’s Top 25 leaders in America, the Daily Telegraph Man of the year, a Time 100 selectee, and one of Foreign Policy magazine’s top 100 public intellectuals. On 10 June 2013, RUSI presented the 35th Chesney Gold Medal to General Petraeus in recognition of his lifetime service and contribution to international defence and security.

Sir John Sawers GCMG is Executive Chairman of Newbridge Advisory, a firm he founded in 2019 to advise corporate leaders on geopolitics and political risk. He is also a Non-Executive Director of BP. Sir John has 36 years of experience in diplomacy and intelligence, culminating in five years as Chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) until he left public service in 2014. As MI6 Chief, he was a member of the UK National Security Council and the Joint

Intelligence Committee, contributing to the strategies and policy decisions on how to promote and protect British interests around the World. He led the Service through a period of international political upheaval and high terrorist threat, including against the 2012 London Olympics. He also modernised the way the Service works and created a more open approach to public accountability.

Prior to leading MI6 he was the UK’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Political Director of the Foreign Office, Special Representative in Iraq, Ambassador to Cairo and Foreign Policy Adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair. In his earlier career he worked overseas in Yemen, Syria, South Africa and Washington, and at home was involved in policy on the EU, Russia and the Middle East. Sir John became Chairman and Partner at Macro Advisory Partners after he left public service until he set up Newbridge Advisory, his own company. He studied at the universities of Nottingham, St Andrews and Harvard. In addition to his corporate work, he has pro bono roles with King’s College London, Chatham House, the Royal United Services Institute, the Bilderberg Association, the Ditchley Foundation and Sevenoaks School.

This event is open to all RUSI members. To become a member, please click here.

To take part you must pre-register no later than 21 October using the ‘Register Now’ button above.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Explore our related content