Paula Broadwell

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Paula Broadwell
Broadwell in 2011
Broadwell in 2011
BornPaula Dean Kranz
(1972-11-09) November 9, 1972 (age 51)[1]
Bismarck, North Dakota, U.S.[2]
OccupationJournalist, military officer
EducationU.S. Military Academy (BS)
University of Denver (MA)
Harvard University (MPA)
King's College London
Notable worksAll In: The Education of General David Petraeus
SpouseScott Broadwell (m. 2000)

Paula Dean Broadwell (née Kranz; born November 9, 1972)[1] is an American writer, academic and former military officer. Broadwell served in the US Army on both active and reserve duty for over 20 years (including time as a military school undergraduate).[3][4] In 2012, she co-authored, with Vernon Loeb, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus,[5] a biography of then-International Security Assistance Force commander David Petraeus.[6][7][8][9][10] She is the co-founder and co-director of the Think Broader Foundation,[11] a media consulting firm that focuses on addressing gender bias in the media and society.[12] Broadwell is most notable for her involvement in the Petraeus scandal.

Early life and education[edit]

Broadwell was born in Bismarck, North Dakota on November 9, 1972. She attended Century High School, where she was homecoming queen, valedictorian of the class of 1991,[13] and an all-state basketball player.[3] In 2006 Broadwell was inducted into the Century High School Hall of Fame.[14]

Broadwell graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and political geography.[15][16] In 2006, she earned a Master of Arts degree in international security from the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies,[17][18] and went on to earn a Master of Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2008.[19][20][21]

Broadwell was a research associate in the Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership Fellows, a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Distinguished Young Leader in the French-America Foundation and American Council on Germany, and a national finalist in the White House Fellows[22] program.[23] Broadwell was elected as the Harvard student representative to the Academy of Achievement[24] in 2006. During this time, she also worked at The Fletcher School at Tufts University as the Deputy Director of the Jebsen Center on Counter-Terrorism.[25] In 2008, Broadwell entered the PhD program at the Department of War Studies at King's College London.[26] As of February 2014 Broadwell was listed as a "former student"[27] presumably without receiving a Ph.D. Her lead supervisor at KCL was Lawrence Freedman.


Broadwell served in the United States Army and the United States Army Reserve as a military intelligence officer on four continents, serving in the disciplines of electronic warfare, document exploitation, counterterrorism analysis and operations, and human intelligence work. In August 2012, Broadwell was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Reserve.[28] On November 14, 2012, Broadwell was stripped of her clearances to access classified information;[29] her promotion to lieutenant colonel was revoked and she was demoted back to major.[30] Broadwell was then classified by the Army as being ineligible for further promotion due to her being under investigation by the Army for the Petraeus affair scandal. This classification remained in place until the investigation was fully resolved.[31]

Broadwell applied for a position with the FBI in 2001, passing the polygraph, academic, and life-experience requirements. A retired FBI agent quoted by The Daily Beast suggested that the FBI would have been very impressed with her qualifications and experience. While the FBI did offer Broadwell a position, she decided instead to attend Harvard University.[32]

Broadwell met Petraeus in 2006 while he was a speaker at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[33] She was a graduate student at the University of Denver at that time.[33] According to The Charlotte Observer, Broadwell told him about her research interests after he spoke.[33] He handed her his card and offered his help.[33] She began a doctoral dissertation that included a case study of his leadership, with Petraeus fully cooperating.[33] Broadwell then co-authored (with Vernon Loeb) a biography of Petraeus, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus which was published in January 2012.[34] The writer Joshua Foust challenged the accuracy of Broadwell's account of the US destruction of the Afghan village of Khosrow Sofla.[35] Soldiers and officers came to her defense, questioning Foust's hostility toward Broadwell.[36][37]

Broadwell was deputy director of the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.[4] She also worked with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.[4]

Broadwell has also written for The New York Times, CNN Security Blog, and The Boston Globe, as well as publishing book chapters in edited volumes.[38][39][40]

In June 2009 and June 2011 Broadwell attended meetings on Afghanistan-Pakistan policy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is part of the White House complex.

Personal life[edit]

Marriage and family[edit]

Broadwell was married to Dr. Scott Broadwell, an interventional radiologist who graduated from George Washington University School of Medicine in 1996.[4] They resided in Charlotte, North Carolina, and have two sons.[33]

The couple met in 2000, when they were both active duty U.S. Army captains. Scott Broadwell at the time was a physician and commander of the Mannheim military clinic in Germany and Broadwell was completing a military intelligence deployment. They married in Heidelberg Castle, with Lt. Col. Ronald Leininger, a Protestant Army chaplain, officiating.[41]

Petraeus affair[edit]

Paula Broadwell and General David Petraeus, July 13, 2011

Broadwell became notable after her extramarital affair with then-CIA director David Petraeus was exposed.[42][8][9][10]

In mid-2012, Broadwell sent a series of emails to General Mattis, General John Allen, and Admiral Harward, cautioning them about Jill Kelley. She also sent harassing emails to Kelley, apparently warning her to stay away from Petraeus (Broadwell's lover). Kelley reported the stalking/threatening emails to the FBI, who then began an investigation since the emails contained confidential information about the CIA director's schedule.[43][44] The emails were prompted after Broadwell alleged that Kelley intimately fondled Petraeus under a table at a restaurant at the Georgetown Four Seasons. Kelley denies the claim that she fondled Petraeus and alleges that Petraeus made those statements to the FBI to spare Broadwell from serving time in prison.[45] The Department of Justice investigated Broadwell for possessing classified information by illegally accessing the CIA director's emails to learn the confidential schedules of the generals she was emailing.[46] The FBI called Broadwell in for questioning, at which time she admitted to her illegal access of Petraeus's emails. After Broadwell turned over her computer to the FBI, additional classified documents were found in her possession.[47][48] The extra-marital affair was revealed in early November 2012 and was cited by Petraeus as the reason for his resignation on November 9.[3][49]

When the news of the scandal became public, Broadwell spent time secluded in Washington, D.C., (at the home of her brother, Stephen Kranz) away from her husband and family. At the same time, her home in Charlotte, North Carolina was being searched by the FBI. While she subsequently returned to her family[50] and the media took note of how the Broadwells tried to get back to normal life.[41]


  1. ^ a b Shane, Scott; Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (November 10, 2012). "A Brilliant Career With a Meteoric Rise and an Abrupt Fall". The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2012. "Ms. Broadwell, who was born while Mr. Petraeus was a West Point cadet and turned 40 on Friday, ...".
  2. ^ Grossman, Samantha (November 12, 2012). "Paula Broadwell, David Petraeus' Biographer and Alleged Mistress". Time. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Shear, Michael D. (November 9, 2012). "Woman Linked to Petraeus Is a West Point Graduate and Lifelong High Achiever". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b c d "Paula Broadwell (MA '06)" (PDF). Alumni Relations. University of Denver. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 16, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  5. ^ Cowles, Gregory (February 26, 2012). "Bestsellers February 26, 2012". The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  6. ^ Stein, Jeff (November 10, 2012). "Covert Affairs: A short history of spies and their sex scandals". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  7. ^ Morella, Michael (February 17, 2012). "General David Petraeus's Leadership and Legacy". U.S. News & World Report.
  8. ^ a b "Petraeus resigns after affair with biographer turned up in FBI probe, Fox News confirms". Fox News. November 9, 2012.
  9. ^ a b Horwitz, Sari; Kindy, Kimberly; Wilson, Scott (November 13, 2012). "Petraeus hoped affair would stay secret and he could keep his job as CIA director". The Washington Post.
  10. ^ a b "Altman: Military can learn from Amazon's approach". The Tampa Tribune. February 16, 2014. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  11. ^ "Ending Media Bias - Think Broader". Ending Media Bias - Think Broader. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  12. ^ "Paula Broadwell's next chapter: Combating gender bias". MilitaryTimes. September 13, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  13. ^ Barney, Madison (January 30, 2012). "Bismarck native profiles Gen. David Petraeus in new book". Bismarck Tribune.
  14. ^ "CHS : Hall of Fame : 2006 Induction".
  15. ^ Grossman, Samantha (November 12, 2012). "Paula Broadwell, David Petraeus' Biographer and Alleged Mistress". Time.
  16. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 4, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Paula Broadwell (MA '06)" (PDF). University of Denver. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 16, 2012.
  18. ^ Davidson, Joanne (June 17, 2004). "Back-to-back accolades for DU's Ritchie". The Denver Post.
  19. ^ Broadwell, Paula (August 30, 2005). "Iraq's doomed police training". The Boston Globe.
  20. ^ "Speaker profile: Paula Broadwell". Penguin Speakers bureau. Archived from the original on November 12, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  21. ^ "A defense of Paula Broadwell — from one of her colleagues". Foreign Policy. November 29, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  22. ^ "The White House Announces National Finalists for the 2008-2009 Class of White House Fellows". Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  23. ^ "David Petraeus: Paula Broadwell, Jill Kelley, the Story Behind the Women Who Brought Down CIA Head". Fox News Latino. September 15, 2022.
  24. ^ "Academy of Achievement: The Achiever Gallery". Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  25. ^ "Tufts E-News -- Women And Terrorism". Archived from the original on August 23, 2007. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  26. ^ "Paula D Broadwell student page". Archived from the original on November 12, 2012 – via King's College London.
  27. ^ "Paula Broadwell - Research Portal, King's College, London". Archived from the original on April 24, 2015.
  28. ^ Rothacker, Rick (November 11, 2012). "Petraeus relationship leads to book, scandal for Broadwell". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  29. ^ Thomas, Peirre; Raddatz, Martha (November 14, 2012). "Paula Broadwell Stripped of Secret Clearance Amid Petraeus Scandal". ABC News. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  30. ^ Bennett, Jessica (May 28, 2016). "Paula Broadwell, David Petraeus and the Afterlife of a Scandal". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  31. ^ Barbara Starr (February 20, 2013). "Paula Broadwell military promotion revoked". CNN. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  32. ^ Daly, Michael (November 16, 2009). "Paula Broadwell, FBI Agent?". The Daily Beast.
  33. ^ a b c d e f Kelley, Pam (January 24, 2012). "Charlotte author chronicles Gen. Petraeus' war career". Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  34. ^ Broadwell, Paula with Vernon Loeb (2012). All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. Penguin, ISBN 9781101552308
  35. ^ Foust, Joshua: Paula Broadwell's Dishonest Portrayal of Tarok Kolache Archived January 12, 2013, at, Registan, February 19, 2011.
  36. ^ "The battalion commander debates the blogger (III): I acted after a great deal of deliberate planning, explains LTC Flynn". Foreign Policy. January 24, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  37. ^ "The Foust vs. Broadwell feud: A few thoughts from a major at West Point". Foreign Policy. February 27, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  38. ^ Broadwell, Paula (October 20, 2009). "Women at War". The New York Times.
  39. ^ Broadwell, Paula (December 12, 2006). "The growing role of women in terrorism". The Boston Globe.
  40. ^ "Wanted: Women in top military roles". Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  41. ^ a b Daly, Michael (November 21, 2012). "Scott Broadwell Proves to Be a Class Act in the Wake of His Wife's Affair". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  42. ^ Gorman, Devlin Barrett and Siobhan (November 11, 2012). "CIA Chief, Biographer Met Six Years Ago". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  43. ^ Hill, Kashmir. "Paula Broadwell's Internet Trail". Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  44. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (January 5, 2014). "From Petraeus Scandal, an Apostle for Privacy". The New York Times.
  45. ^ Tapper, Jake (March 28, 2016). "Book details emails, allegations in Petraeus scandal". CNN. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  46. ^ Goldman, Adam (January 25, 2016). "How David Petraeus avoided felony charges and possible prison time". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  47. ^ Horwitz, Sari (November 10, 2012). "FBI probe of Petraeus triggered by e-mail threats from biographer, officials say". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  48. ^ FBI Scrutinized on Petraeus: Complaints by Female Social Planner Led to Email Trail That Undid CIA Chief The Wall Street Journal November 11, 2012.
  49. ^ Stenovec, Timothy (November 9, 2012). "Paula Broadwell, David Petraeus Biographer, Reportedly Woman Involved In CIA Director's Affair". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  50. ^ Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Elisabeth Arriero (November 13, 2012). "Paula Broadwell's Charlotte home is searched by FBI for 4 hours". Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2012.

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