WASHINGTON — Paula Broadwell first met fellow West Point graduate David Petraeus in the spring of 2006, when she was a graduate student at the Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
He was a lieutenant colonel working on a counterinsurgency manual that would be tested during his command in Iraq. The university had invited him to give a speech.
Broadwell was in the Army Reserve after being recalled three times to active duty since the Sept. 11 attacks to work on counterterrorism issues and intended to return to active duty or get into the policy world, according to the preface of the Petraeus biography she would later write with Washington Post editor Vernon Loeb.
Broadwell wrote in the preface to All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, published by Penguin in January, that while at Harvard, Petraeus passed along his card and offered to help her academic work on leadership.
"I later discovered that he was famous for this type of mentoring and networking, especially with aspiring soldier-scholars," Broadwell wrote, adding that "I took full advantage of his open-door policy to seek insight and share perspectives."
Broadwell is a research associate at Harvard's Center for Public Leadership and a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of War Studies at King's College London, according to her biography on Penguin's website. According to the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, she grew up in North Dakota and moved to Charlotte more than three years ago with her husband, a radiologist, and their two young sons.
The book began as research for her dissertation, a case study of Petraeus' leadership. It evolved into an authorized biography after President Barack Obama put Petraeus in charge of Afghanistan in 2010.