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Philanthropic People: General David Petraeus

Earlier this month, people around the country celebrated Veterans Day, an annual holiday that honors the men and women who have served in the United States military. Although this day is one that focuses on the courage and patriotism of these veterans, it’s also a time to reflect upon veteran advocacy and health. One man who has devoted his life to the military is former General David Petraeus, who served until 2011 and continues to dedicate his time to veteran advocacy today.

David Petraeus Chairman KKR Global Institute
Image: via KKR

David Petraeus currently serves as chairman of KKR’s Global Institute, teaches at various institutions including Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and devotes much of his time to military veteran outreach, support, and rehabilitation. Regarded as a military visionary for his deep understanding of politics and foreign affairs, Petraeus is a highly decorated four-star general who served for 37 years in the United States Army.

Last year, the former general was honored at the annual History Makers Gala, an event that recognizes prominent visionaries who have made history and simultaneously raises funds for the New York Historical Society (NYHS). In a press release about the History Makers Award, NYHS’s President and CEO Dr. Louise Mirrer said, “We are also pleased to recognize General Petraeus for his groundbreaking work in Iraq, […] and his encouragement of strategies that resolve problems through political processes rather than violence.”

American Corporate PartnersIn March, 2013, Petraeus joined the advisory council of American Corporate Partners (ACP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting veterans as they come back from deployment. The mission of the ACP reads in part: “With the belief that one-on-one relationships enhance an atmosphere of mutual understanding, respect, and support, ACP aims to strengthen the connection between corporate America and veteran communities.” By working with business professionals nationwide, and with help from its passionate and dedicated advisory board, the ACP provides veterans with tools to help the acclimate to the workforce after they return from deployment.

Petraeus has spoken out on behalf of veterans many times over the course of his career; he has been invited to give many speeches and talks about veteran health and wellness, employment, and PTSD. Petraeus is a good example of a philanthropic-minded individual who understands that giving to others means putting time and effort into creating change.

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KKR Global Institute Helps Companies Grow Sustainably

KKR Global Institute Helps Companies Grow Sustainably
IMG: via Shutterstock

One of the world’s leading investment firms, KKR recently established the KKR Global Institute, led by General David Petraeus, in order to invest funds in emerging markets in the smartest and most productive ways possible.  In recent years, KKR has recognized the importance of growing businesses sustainably, and this will be the cornerstone of the newly founded investing arm of a company that could be a major part of building the global economy.

KKR manages over $78 billion in assets, and can therefore make a huge dent in global economic development.  The firm recognizes its responsibility to ensure that future generations benefit from the decisions it makes today.  Knowing that millions of people depend on returns on investments that KKR manages for retirement or education or even employment, KKR focuses on building long term, sustainable investments that all stakeholders can benefit from.

This is a rare practice in today’s “get rich quick” mentality of Wall Street.  The company participates in the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment, a voluntary framework that lays out how investing should be managed for the greater good.  Members of the firm also helped create the Guidelines on Responsible Investment for the Private Equity Growth Capital Council.

In 2008, KKR introduced a Green Portfolio Program, which has 25 participants managing green portfolios, which measure financial impact toward an environmental cause and measures reduction in carbon emissions.  Last year participating companies collectively reported $644 million in sustainable investments and large emission reductions, landfill aversions and less water use.  The company has a strong set of core values and remains one of the most highly respected investment firms in business.