David Kilcullen

David Kilcullen

Formal First Name
1967 - present

Dr. David Kilcullen is a renowned author, strategist, counterinsurgency expert, former soldier and diplomat, and scholar of guerilla warfare, terrorism, urbanization and the future of conflict. He is Professor of International and Political Studies at the University of New South Wales, Professor of Practice at Arizona State University, and CEO and President of the research firm Cordillera Applications Group. Dr. Kilcullen is a theorist and practitioner of guerrilla and unconventional warfare and counterterrorism, with over 25 years of operational experience with the Australian and U.S. governments as an Army officer, intelligence analyst, policy adviser and diplomat, in command and operational missions across the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe. In recent years, Dr. Kilcullen has supported aid agencies, non-government organizations, and local communities in conflict and disaster-affected regions. He also works with ational and city-level governments in the United States, Australia, Africa, Latin America and Europe on urban development, public safety and counterterrorism. In addition, Dr. Kilcullen is the author of prize-winning books on terrorism, insurgency, urbanization and future warfare as well as numerous scholarly paperes on urbanization, conflict, and future warfare.

Professional Experience

Academic History


  • He was Chief Strategist in the State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau, and served in Iraq as Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor to General D. Petraeus.

  • After that, he became Special Advisor for Counterinsurgency to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2008.

  • He was the U.S. State Department’s representative on the 2008 Lute Review of Afghanistan-Pakistan Strategy.

  • In Afghanistan, he founded the ISAF Counterinsurgency Advisory Assistance Team in 2009, and served as Advisor to Commander ISAF.

  • He was also a senior research scientist on the Defense Advanced research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Afghanistan country program.


  • Board of Advisors, Qatium

  • Director, Native Data

  • Director, Thesigers

  • Associate, Brenthurst Foundation

  • Board of Advisors, Spirit of America


  • Before joining Meta, Dave founded and led Caerus Global Solutions, a strategic R&D firm in Washington DC.

  • He also founded, a tech platform that enables researchers to rapidly pool and share analysis in austere field environments.

  • He has led several concept design projects for the U.S. and allied governments, and taught at universities and military colleges in the U.S. and Europe.

  • He also made scholarly contributions about human geography, urban studies, and fieldwork methods for conflict ethnography and remote observation.


  • 2009 Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers

  • 2007 Superior Civilian Service Medal

  • 2006 Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service

  • 2001 Commander-in-Chief’s Sword

  • 2001 Governor-General's Prize

  • 1987 Chief of Defense Force Prize