Gen. David H. Petraeus to speak at Vanderbilt University

Note: This event has sold out, but will be streamed live on VUCast at

Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, will engage in an open dialogue at Vanderbilt University about his actions as commander of the surge in Iraq and the role of U.S. forces overseas.

Petraeus will speak on Monday, March 1, at 5 p.m. in the ballroom of Vanderbilt‘s Student Life Center, located at 310 25th Avenue South. The talk is open to the public and the media.

The event will be a conversation between Petraeus and Mike Newton, Vanderbilt professor of the practice of law. Newton is a West Point graduate who is an international legal adviser to the Iraqis and was one of the small team of international experts who taught them international criminal law and assisted with the trials. The conversation is sponsored by the International Legal Studies Program and the College of Arts and Science.

During the event, Petraeus will answer pre-submitted questions from the audience. Anyone wishing to submit a question should go to by Monday, Feb. 15.

Tickets for the event are free and are required for entry. Tickets will be available at the Sarratt Student Center box office starting Monday, Feb. 1, at 10 a.m. Law students may pick up their tickets at the Vanderbilt Law School starting Feb. 1.

There will be a heightened level of security for the event. No food, drinks, backpacks or bags will be permitted in the Student Life Center ballroom. Purses will be permitted. All attendees are subject to searches and/or pat downs and anyone can be refused entry without explanation.

Petraeus has a long and distinguished military career and has worked with presidents and administrations from both political parties. He was promoted to chief of the U.S. Central Command in October 2008 after several tours in Iraq, including the role of top commander in Iraq for more than 19 months.

Before serving as commander in Iraq, he led the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. Before that assignment, he was the first commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command in Iraq, from June 2004 to September 2005, and the NATO Training Mission for Iraq, which he commanded from October 2004 to September 2005. That deployment to Iraq followed his command of the 101st Airborne Air Assault Division, during which he led the “Screaming Eagles” in combat throughout the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Previous to his tours in Iraq, Petraeus was the assistant chief of staff for operations of the NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia and the deputy commander of the U.S. Joint Interagency Counter-Terrorism Task Force in Bosnia.

Petraeus graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1974 and was the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College class of 1983. He earned his master of public education and Ph.D. in international relations from Princeton University and later served as an assistant professor of international relations at the U.S. Military Academy.

Petraeus has earned numerous military accolades including two awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Defense Superior Service Medal, four awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal for valor, the State Department Superior Honor Award, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal and the Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date Palm.

In 2005 he was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of America‘s 25 Best Leaders. In 2007 he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential leaders and revolutionaries of the year and one of four runners-up for Time person of the year. He was also chosen by Esquire Magazine as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century.

For more information about the event, visit

Media contact: Princine Lewis, (615) 322-NEWS

[Media Note: Credentials will be required for media and can be obtained by contacting Princine Lewis at the Vanderbilt News Service, (615) 322-NEWS. More detailed information to follow closer to event date.]