John Philip Abizaid, AO (born 1 April 1951) is a retired General in the United States Army and former Commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), overseeing American military operations in a 27-country region, from the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, to South and Central Asia, covering much of the Middle East. CENTCOM oversees 250,000 US troops. Abizaid succeeded General Tommy Franks as Commander, USCENTCOM, on 7 July 2003, and was also elevated to the rank of 4-star general the same week. He was succeeded by Admiral William J. Fallon on 16 March 2007.
General Abizaid retired from the military on 1 May 2007 after 34 years of service. As of 2007, Abizaid is employed as a fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. General Abizaid assumed the Distinguished Chair of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point in December 2007. Abizaid was appointed to the board of directors of RPM International on 24 January 2008, and also sits on the board of directors of the Defense Ventures Group. In 2008 he was selected as a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College.
Abizaid, a Lebanese American, was born in northern California. He was raised Catholic. His father, a Navy machinist in World War II, raised him after Abizaid's mother died of cancer.