David Howell Petraeus (pronunciation: /pɪˈtreɪ.əs/; born November 7, 1952) is a United States Army general who serves as the current Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A). His other four-star assignments include serving as the 10th Commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) from September 16, 2008, to June 30, 2010, and as Commanding General, Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNF-I) from January 26, 2007, to September 16, 2008. As commander of MNF-I, Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq. He assumed his current assignment on July 4, 2010.
Petraeus has a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy from which he graduated in 1974 as a distinguished cadet (top 5% of his class). He was the General George C. Marshall Award winner as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College class of 1983. He subsequently earned an M.P.A. in 1985 and a Ph.D. in International Relations in 1987 from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He later served as Assistant Professor of International Relations at the United States Military Academy and also completed a fellowship at Georgetown University.
Some news reports have speculated that Petraeus may have interest in running for the presidency, especially after he visited a school known for hosting the presidential debates, New Hampshire's Saint Anselm College. Petraeus lives in New Hampshire. Despite these accounts, Petraeus has categorically asserted that he has no political ambitions. On June 23, 2010, President Obama nominated Petraeus to succeed General Stanley McChrystal as commanding general of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, technically a step down from his position as Commander of United States Central Command, which oversees the military efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and parts of Africa. He was confirmed by the Senate on June 30, 2010, and took over command from temporary commander Lieutenant-General Sir Nick Parker on July 4, 2010.