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General George W. Casey, Jr. U.S. Army (Ret.) Image

General George W. Casey, Jr. U.S. Army (Ret.)

Distinguished Senior Lecturer of Leadership, Johnson School of Management, Cornell University; Chief of Staff, U.S. Army (2007-2011); Commander, Multi-National Force-Iraq (2004-2007); Accomplished Military Leader

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Fee Range:
$15,000 - $25,000

General George W. Casey, Jr. served 41 years in the U.S. Army following his graduation from Georgetown University.  He is an accomplished leader and an authority on strategic leadership.

He led the Army from 2007-2011 and is widely credited with restoring balance to a war-weary Army and leading the transformation to keep it relevant in the 21st Century. He was a stalwart advocate for military families, wounded Soldiers, and survivors of the fallen, and took on the tough issues of suicide and reducing the stigma attached to combat stress.  Prior to this, he commanded the Multi-National Force – Iraq, a coalition of more than 30 countries, where he guided the Iraq mission through its toughest days. In his 15 years as a general officer, he held numerous senior leadership positions in Europe, the Middle East and in the United States.

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Bio

General George W. Casey, Jr. served 41-years as an American soldier following his commission as a second lieutenant of Infantry from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1970. He is an accomplished leader and an authority on strategic leadership.

As the 36th Chief of Staff of the US Army from April 2007 to 2011, General Casey led what is arguably the world’s largest and most complex organization — 1.1 million people strong, with a $200+ billion annual budget — during one of the most extraordinary periods in military and global political history. He is widely credited with restoring balance to the war-weary US Army, leading the transformation to keep the Army relevant in the 21st Century, and ensuring the force deployed in the war on terror was the best this country ever fielded. On the home-front, General Casey took on the tough issues of suicide, combat stress and reducing the stigma attached to mental health care. He was also a stalwart advocate for military families, wounded Soldiers, and survivors of the fallen.

Prior to this, from July 2004 to February 2007, he commanded the Multi-National Force – Iraq, a coalition of more than 30 countries. General Casey guided the Iraq mission through its toughest days, driving significant change in the US Armed Forces and building the Iraqi security institutions while battling a difficult insurgency and sectarian violence.

He currently serves as a Distinguished Senior Lecturer of Leadership at the SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University and as a Dean’s Fellow at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia. He lectures on leadership internationally at business schools and to the leadership of numerous organizations, most notably, Coca-Cola, Caterpillar, Coca-Cola Bottling, Africa, the National Australian Bank, the states of Victoria and New South Wales, Australia, Amazon, TDAmeritrade, Pentagon Federal Credit Union and General Electric.

He also teaches international relations at the Korbel School, University of Denver where he is the Rice Family Professor of Practice.

He has published a book, Strategic Reflections, Operation Iraqi Freedom, July 2004-2007, about his experiences in Iraq, and several articles on leadership, including, “Leading in a ‘VUCA’ World”, Fortune Magazine, April, 2014.
He is Chairman of the Board of Governors of the USO, the preeminent support organization for the men and women of our Armed Forces, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Georgetown University, Leonardo DRS, Colt Holding Company, LLC, and the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, an organization that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination and improve race relations, and the Center for Global Development. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors for Streetshares, a crowd-sourcing firm for Small Businesses and veterans, RallyPoint, a network for veterans and military professionals, and Sarcos, a global leader in dexterous robotic systems.

He is committed to ensuring the contributions of the men and women of our Armed Forces are not forgotten. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Student Veterans of America, an organization committed to providing veterans the tools to succeed in higher education; ThanksUSA, an organization that provides post-secondary scholarships to the children and spouses of our servicemen; and the Army Historical Foundation, an organization committed to the development of the National Museum of the U.S. Army.

General Casey holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from Denver University, and he served as a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States, a foreign policy think-tank. He has broad international experience. Born in Japan, he served in operational assignments in Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East.

Speech Topics

Today we live, work, and compete in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) world. Leading in this environment is tough business and requires leaders with the vision to see opportunities in volatile and ambiguous situations, the courage to act in the face of uncertainty and complexity, and the character to make hard decisions and bounce back from unexpected setbacks. In this keynote, General Casey provides keen and uplifting insights for leaders at all levels on how to navigate uncertainty, leverage opportunities, and inspire teams.


There is an old military axiom that can be traced back to Helmuth von Moltke, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” Mike Tyson put it more starkly, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” In today’s business world, the only certainty is change. Leaders are increasingly challenged to stay abreast of and react to changes in their operating environments while guiding the execution of their existing strategies. Identifying major opportunities, and then driving the cultural and organizational change necessary to take advantage of them, will remain essential work for leaders. General Casey shares with audiences his vast experiences transforming a very good 20th Century army into a force able to deal with the very different challenges of the 21st Century.


President Theodore Roosevelt called character the “indispensable requisite” both for the individual and for the Nation. He knew that character was most important in the leader. People trust leaders with strong character because they know that leader will act appropriately in difficult circumstances. This trust becomes the glue that binds organizations together. Leaders of character are particularly important today when the volatility and the uncertainty of the international business environment, and the rapid pace of change, constantly confront leaders with dilemmas that challenge existing norms. General Casey draws from Aristotle, recent business cases, and from his personal experiences over a 41 –year military career to instill the importance of leading-by-example and building values-based organizations.


Drawing on his experiences in Iraq and on the Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2001, General Casey provides a soldier’s view of the current and evolving threats to America and offers insights on how to best address them. He highlights our on-going struggle with Islamic extremism and argues that we face several more decades of persistent conflict where both non-state actors and states behaving badly will continue to use violence against civilians to pursue their political and ideological objectives. Our challenges are heightened by the fact that these non-state actors have acquired the capability to inflict catastrophic damage on states.


In an entertaining and thought-provoking presentation, General Casey recounts historical and personal accounts of civilian leaders’ interactions with military leaders during times of war. He uses 20th and 21st Century case studies that feature in-depth looks at the predominant war presidents in our recent history—Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman; Lyndon Johnson; George W. Bush and Barak Obama—and how we can draw lessons from their interactions with the military.


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