It's been a little over two years since Gen. David Petraeus was forced to resign his position as CIA Director, and this week he pled guilty to exposing confidential documents to his mistress. So what's Petraeus been doing in that time? Well, since his resignation, Petraeus has thrived in the private sector and taught at prestigious institutions like Harvard and USC; he's also the chairman of KKR Global Institute, the international branch of KKR & Co., a global investment firm based in NYC.
His lone course at CUNY as Visiting Professor at Macaulay Honors College garnered attention from students and protestors alike; Petraeus himself earned thousands of dollars. To say his 2012 scandal has ruined his career would be false; arguably, it's just allowed the decorated general to pivot from government work to the private sector.
Petraeus' position with KKR & Co. — certainly his most steady, consistent job — is not unlike his previous experiences with the government, during which international policy was at the forefront. Earlier this year, Petraeus was in Kazakhstan to discuss financial investments at Nazarbayev University. The high-ranking international officials he regularly does business with — including Nazarbayev University's namesake, whom he'd met years ago while serving as Commander of the International Security Assistance Force — certainly aren't strangers.
According to sources close to the investment firm, it's those contacts that helped net Petraeus his current chairman position researching and advising on a global level despite his legal standing. KKR & Co. have been well aware of Petraeus' troubles and issued the following statement after Petraeus pled guilty to federal charges of compromising classified documents earlier this week:
Since joining the firm in 2013, David Petraeus has made valuable contributions to KKR, and his work has benefited our investors. We look forward to working with him as he continues to add value as Chairman of the KKR Global Institute.
Amid multiple teaching positions and continued success with KKR & Co., the government continues to take an interest in Petraeus as well. According to The New York Times, the National Security Council continues to seek Petraeus' advice regarding international political and security issues. Both Democrats and Republicans have been vocal in their support too. Senators John McCain and Dianne Feinstein have issued statements that speak to the lauded general's respectability before an extramarital affair helped end his career with the government. Says Feinstein:
I do know General Petraeus, and I have a great respect for the service that he’s given to our country, which in the military world has been at the very top and unparalleled. So I think it’s not the best of all outcomes — but certainly not the worst.John McCain adds that the guilty plea may very well put the matter to rest and help Petraeus re-enter the government sphere:
At a time of grave security challenges around the world, I hope that Gen. Petraeus will continue to provide his outstanding service and leadership to our nation, as he has throughout his distinguished career.Petraeus has yet to be sentenced. For his crimes, he may serve up to a year in prison, though prosecutors ultimately hope for a sentence of two years' probation and a $40,000 fine.