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General David Petraeus to give Lees Knowles Lecture

General David Petraeus, former Director of the CIA and Commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, will give the Lees Knowles Lecture 2020 on Thursday 19 November, 5-6pm.

The event will take the form of an online Q&A, with questions emailed in advance, chaired by the Master, Dame Sally Davies.

Photo: Monica A. King, Department of Defense, US Military 2011

General Petraeus was Commander of the Multi-National Force Iraq, 2007-2008, Commander, US Central Command, 2008-10, and between 2010 and 2011, Commander of US Forces, Afghanistan and head of the International Security Assistance Force, the NATO-led mission to train Afghan forces and assist in the rebuilding of government institutions.

After retiring from the military, General Petraeus became Director of the CIA, 2011-2012.

David Petraeus graduated from West Point in 1974, won the General George C Marshall Award for top performing graduate at the US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, in 1983, and went onto complete a PhD at Princeton in 1987 on the lessons from the Vietnam war.

General Petraeus is the first US military professional to give the Lees Knowles Lectures, past lectures of which have been given by historians and UK military figures.

The biennial lecture series was established in 1912 by alumnus Lees Knowles, who came to Trinity in 1875 and went onto become a barrister and Conservative MP for West Salford, 1886-1906. He held a commission in the Volunteer Force (later the Territorial Force) and reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He became a baronet in 1903.

The 2020 Lees Knowles Lecture is open to all and will take place via Zoom webinar. Please email questions in advance to by 4pm on Wednesday 18 November. The event link is Lees_Knowles_Zoom

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