Carnegie Mellon University

A Conversation with General H.R. McMaster

Tuesday, November 2, 2021
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET

Watch a recording of the event here.

About General H.R. McMaster:

Until recently, H.R. McMaster was the 26th Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

He served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years before retiring as a Lieutenant General in June 2018.

From 2014 to 2017, McMaster designed the future Army as Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center and Deputy Commanding General, Futures, US Army Training and Doctrine Command. As Commanding General, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, he oversaw all training and education for the Army’s infantry, armor, and cavalry force. His extensive experience leading soldiers and organizations in wartime includes Commander, Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force Shafafiyat in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012; Commander, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq from 2005 -2006; and Commander, Eagle Troop Second Armored Cavalry Regiment in Operation Desert Storm from 1990-1991. McMaster also served overseas as advisor to the most senior commanders in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

McMaster led important strategic assessments, including the revision of Iraq strategy during the ‘surge’ of 2007 and efforts to develop security forces and governmental institutions in post-war Iraq. In 2009-2010, he led an assessment and planning effort to develop a comprehensive strategy for the greater Middle East.

McMaster was as an assistant professor of history at the United States Military Academy from 1994 to 1996, where he taught undergraduate courses in military history and history of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, as well as a graduate course on the history of military leadership for officers enrolled in the Columbia University MBA program. 

McMaster has published scores of essays, articles, and book reviews on leadership, history, and the future of warfare in many publications including Foreign AffairsThe Wall Street Journal, and The New York TimesHe was a contributing editor for Survival magazine from 2010-2017, and is a current Senior Fellow at The Hoover Institution. His award-winning book, Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam, is a New York Times bestseller. His most recent bestseller Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World, is an important book on the state of America's national security. In 2020, he became a special advisor to Investment Bank Mischler Financial Group, Inc, which is Veteran-owned, and in 2021 joined the Board of Directors for NRx Pharmaceuticals. 

McMaster was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984. He holds a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His military awards include the Silver Star Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, and the Purple Heart.