The Brenthurst Foundation
Strengthening Africa's
economic performance


David Kilcullen

Counter Insurgency; Urban Development Expert, Australia/US

Australian born Dave Kilcullen is founder and Chairman of Caerus Associates, LLC in Washington DC. Caerus is a strategic consulting and design firm that helps governments, global enterprises and local communities build resilience in complex and conflict affected environments. Caerus currently works in Afghanistan, Africa, Latin America, and various locations in Asia and Europe.

Before founding Caerus, David Kilcullen served 24 years as a soldier, diplomat and policy advisor for the Australian and United States governments. He is considered a leading theorist on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. He was Special Advisor to the Secretary of State in 2007-2009 and Senior Advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq in 2007. He has provided advice at the highest levels of the Bush and Obama administrations, and has worked in peace and stability operations, humanitarian relief and counterinsurgency environments in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, South Asia and Africa.

He has served as the Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Australian Infantry Corps, as well as the Senior Analyst with the Australian Office of National Assessments. He also served as the Chief Counterterrorism Strategist and later the Special Advisor for Counterinsurgency to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when he was seconded to the US Department of State Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. He authored the Counterterrorism Strategy for the Quadrennial Defense Review in the Department of Defence, as well as the United States Army Counterinsurgency Handbook.

He is an author, teacher and consultant, advising the U.S. and allied governments, international organizations, NGOs and the private sector. His bestselling books The Accidental Guerrilla (2009) and Counterinsurgency (2010) are used worldwide by civilian government officials, policymakers, military and development professionals working in unstable and insecure environments. He holds a PhD in the politics of insurgency from the University of New South Wales.

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