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David H. Petraeus, retired four-star Army general and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has joined with Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Director Graham Allison in launching a project to analyze dynamics that are spurring renewed competitiveness by the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The project is called “The Coming North American Decades.”
Petraeus, a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center, is co-leading with Allison the exploration of major technological, scientific, and economic dynamics, looking in particular at impacts of the ongoing energy, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and life sciences revolutions. The project also will analyze potential policy choices that could slow or enhance these transformations in ways that advance American interests.
“The more our group looks around the world, the more convinced we become that North America is poised to define the decades ahead,” Petraeus said. “There is no other country or grouping of countries with stronger tailwinds behind it: it is a market of nearly 500 million people that is highly integrated, with good demographics, mostly secure borders, and shared democratic values. In addition, the United States is leading the manufacturing, energy, IT, and life sciences revolutions that are going to transform the world in the years ahead.”
A high-level advisory committee for the project includes Venkatesh (Venky) Narayanamurti, chair of the Belfer Center’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program and former dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Susan Hockfield, former president of MIT; Mary Boies, counsel at Boies & McInnis LLP; and Meghan O’Sullivan, Jeanne Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs and director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at the Kennedy School.
The center project complements a Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on North America that Petraeus is co-chairing with former World Bank president Robert Zoellick, who is also a Belfer Center senior fellow.
“We count ourselves fortunate,” Allison said, “to have David Petraeus making a major intellectual investment in issues so central to a Center whose mission is to advance policy-relevant knowledge about the most significant international challenges. He has an inquiring mind, strategic orientation, intellectual fearlessness, and appreciation of the academy that will make this a productive partnership.”
David Petraeus (Left), retired four-star Army general, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center
“There is no other country or grouping of countries with stronger tailwinds behind it: it is a market of nearly 500 million people that is highly integrated, with good demographics, mostly secure borders, and shared democratic values," said David H. Petraeus.