Auburn hosting decorated Army general, former White House cabinet member for Nov. 29 talk on leadership

Published: November 17, 2017
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Retired U.S. Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, a decorated combat veteran who held high-profile roles in the Pentagon and the White House, will discuss "Lessons in Leadership" during an open campus lecture hosted by Auburn University's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

The event, which is free and open to the general public, will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Foy Hall auditorium. McCaffrey's visit is another in a series of special events celebrating the 50th anniversary of Auburn University's founding of a business school. The Harbert College of Business was initially established as the School of Business in 1967.

"It is a great honor to welcome Gen. McCaffrey to Auburn University, and we are delighted to offer this opportunity to students, faculty, staff and members of the campus community," said Harbert College of Business Dean and Wells Fargo Professor Bill Hardgrave.

"Gen. McCaffrey has a well-earned reputation for being a dynamic speaker, and one whose range of expertise encompasses problem-solving and complex management issues. Given his background as a military leader, cabinet member and, now, a businessman, Gen. McCaffrey will offer unique perspectives on leadership and problem-solving that will be applicable to a variety of settings."

McCaffrey served in the Army for 32 years, retiring in 1996 as its most decorated general with three Purple Heart Medals for wounds received in combat, two Distinguished Service Crosses (the nation's second-highest award for valor), and two Silver Stars for valor. He was the youngest general to attain a four-star rank. McCaffrey served four combat tours with the 82nd Airborne Division, the 1st Calvary Division and the 24th Infantry Division, and served as Commander-in-Chief for U.S. Southern Command from 1994 to 1996. McCaffrey was inducted into the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame at Fort Benning in 2007 and earned the U.S. Army's "Doughboy Award" for outstanding contributions to the infantry in 2015.

The founder and president of his own consulting firm, Virginia-based BR McCaffrey Associates, McCaffrey also serves as a national security and terrorism analyst for NBC News. From 1996-2001, McCaffrey served as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, commonly known as the "Drug Czar," during the Clinton Administration. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an Associate of the Inter-American Dialogue. McCaffrey was also part of the principal negotiation team for the START II Nuclear Arms Control Treaty.

"Gen. McCaffrey's expertise extends to so many areas—leadership, change and risk management, national security and a variety of geopolitical issues," Hardgrave said. "His visit shows we are serious in fulfilling our vision of becoming an elite public college of business. Part of that process includes connecting our students with globally recognized thought leaders."

McCaffrey has testified before congressional committees and subcommittees on such matters as military readiness, stability in Iraq, national security policy, U.S. policy toward Cuba, strategic options in Afghanistan, free trade agreements, border security and security threats posted by drug traffickers.

A graduate of West Point, McCaffrey earned a master's degree from American University and attended Harvard University's National Security Program and Business School Executive Education Program.

McCaffrey was initially scheduled to visit Auburn in September but it had to be postponed due to severe weather.

Auburn University's Harbert College of Business provides its students with an innovative-yet-practical education focused on career readiness. The college's degree programs in accountancy, business analytics and supply chain management lead the nation. Its research centers in supply chain management and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology guide the Fortune 100. Harbert's pioneering online education programs offer value and flexibility. The college's nationally recognized faculty produce research that informs and responds to today's business trends. Learn more at the Harbert College of Business website.