Photo: crowd from Obama's 2008 speech in Germany
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Name: Paula Broadwell

Talk Topic: Innovation in Foreign Policy presented by the Truman Foundation

Title: Author, Research Associate

Organization: Harvard University’s Center for Public Leadership



See Paula on The PPL’s stage

Paula Broadwell is a research associate at Harvard University’s Center for Public Leadership and a PhD candidate in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. She spent much of the past year in Afghanistan as an embedded author, building upon her previous two-year pursuit of a doctoral dissertation:  a study in transformational leadership and organizational innovation influenced by U.S. Army General David Petraeus.

Broadwell’s passion for leadership and security policy stems from her background in the U.S. military and her academic pursuits.  She graduated with academic and leadership honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Running on the cross country, indoor, and outdoor track teams, Broadwell graduated at the top of her class in physical fitness.  She has lived, worked, or traveled in over 60 countries during more than fifteen years of military service and work in geopolitical analysis and counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations.  During that time, she had assignments with the U.S. intelligence community, U.S. Special Operations Command and an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Broadwell earned an MA with honors from the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies, a certificate of Arabic study (in Jordan and the Palestinian Territories) through the National Security Education Program Boren Fellowship, and also earned an MPA degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government while serving as the Deputy Director of the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.  Broadwell previously wrote for London’s Kings of War and the Washington Post/Foreign Policy’s “Best Defense” blogs, and she has published op-eds in The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, and Boston Globe.  She has also written chapters in books on counterinsurgency, transformational leadership, and women in defense, and has contributed to national TV networks and BBC radio and NPR on similar topics. In her free time, she has been a sponsored 1/2 Ironman Triathlete and a female model/demonstrator for KRISS (.45 caliber machine gun manufacturer); she remains active in international women’s counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, and conflict resolution efforts as well as veteran support organizations, especially the fitness-oriented Team Red White and Blue.

Paula is married to Dr. Scott Broadwell, an interventional radiologist who has saved more lives than she has.  They have two very busy young boys, Lucien and Landon.  They live together in Charlotte, NC, and when Paula is not on the frontlines, online, or writing lines, they love to run, ski, and surf together.


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