David J. Kilcullen was appointed to Thesigers's board of directors in early 2016, after providing the company's clients with consultative research, training services and developmental support for several years. He is widely recognised for his intellectual and working contributions to major issues in international affairs, bringing a unique capacity for clarity and innovation in difficult places.
A former soldier and diplomat, David served 24 years as an infantry officer in the Australian Army and then with the U.S. State Department, where he was chief strategist in the Counterterrorism Bureau, Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq, and Senior Advisor for Counterinsurgency to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Since leaving government in 2009 he has forged a successful career as a scholar, lecturer, consultant and business executive. He founded and remains Chairman of Caerus Global Solutions, a strategic research and design consultancy based in Washington D.C., as well as First Mile Geo, a geospatial technology start-up. He has worked across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere, advising institutions, governments, businesses, NGOs and local communities on complex humanitarian and security challenges.
Impact and Recognition
David has been awarded several civilian and military decorations of the United States and Australian governments, as well as numerous academic prizes and honors. In 2006 he was the subject of a full-length profile in the New Yorker magazine, and Foreign Policy Magazine named him one of its Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2009. He is a much sought-after contributor to print and broadcast media, and his highly influential writings, including three books, have received wide critical acclaim.
David holds a PhD in political anthropology from the University of New South Wales, a Masters of Management from the University of Canberra, a Postgraduate Diploma in Indonesian from the Australian Defence Force School of Languages, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Politics and English from the Australian Defence Force Academy. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon and of the Australian Command and Staff College.
- Blood Year: Islamic State and the Failures of the War on Terror. London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers/ New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla. London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers/ New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Counterinsurgency. London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers/ New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
- The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers/ New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
- “Counterinsurgency Redux." Survival (International Institute of Strategic Studies) 48:4 (Winter 2006-2007): 111–130.
- “Twenty-Eight Articles: Fundamentals of Company-level Counterinsurgency." Military Review 83: 3 (May–June 2006): 103–108.
- "Countering Global Insurgency". Journal of Strategic Studies 28:4 (2005): 597–617.
- “Complex Warfighting.” Australian Army Future Land Operational Concept (FLOC), 7 April 2004.
- "Rethinking the Basis of Infantry Close Combat." Australian Army Journal I (1) (Jun3 2003): 29–40.