The dialogue was the first in a series of six meetings to be held in the next year to facilitate engagement between ambassadors assigned to Washington and Americans who are leaders in their field or possess deep expertise of interest to a foreign audience. The series will explore issues of both domestic and international importance.

In his opening remarks to the group, Sen. Lugar, president of The Lugar Center, said the Lugar Diplomacy Series “will serve to strengthen diplomatic relationships at a time when the international community faces many uncertainties, some of which stem from the political situation in this country. "

Gen. Petraeus is a retired four-star Army general who led American forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan and later, after leaving the military, was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He is now a partner in the global investment firm KKR & Co. and serves as president of the KKR Global Institute. A Ph.D., Gen. Petraeus also holds academic appointments Harvard’s Kennedy School, the University of Southern California, and the City University of New York.

The meeting was held at the downtown Washington offices of the non-profit Meridian Institute, which brings together people from diverse perspectives to address such challenges as global agriculture and food security, global health, climate change, and sustainability. Meridian, along with global medical firm Abbott, is a charter sponsor of the Lugar Diplomacy Series. It is expected that other sponsors will join as the series moves forward. To facilitate frank and open discussion among the diplomats and speakers, the meetings are off-the-record.

 The Lugar Center is dedicated to proposing solutions to global problems that will define the 21st Century. The Center seeks to engage the public, global policymakers, and future leaders on critical issues; it provides a forum for timely commentary by respected experts; and it is committed to thoughtful analysis and civil dialogue that facilitate bipartisan governance.

Senator Lugar welcomes retired General David Petraeus to the inaugural event of the Lugar Diplomacy Series.