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Gen. Stan McChrystal to Speak at Westmont President’s Breakfast

Gen. Stan McChrystal, a best-selling author, a popular college teacher and one of the most revered military officers of his generation, will speak at the 12th annual Westmont President’s Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. March 3 in the Grand Ballroom of the Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort.

Gen. Stan McChrystal
Gen. Stan McChrystal

Tickets cost $125 per person and go on sale at 9 a.m. Feb. 3 on the Westmont College website. Seating is limited, and tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

A four-star general, McChrystal rose through the ranks and spent much of his career leading special forces. For five years, he commanded the Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees the military’s most sensitive forces, and he assumed command of all international forces in Afghanistan in 2009. He is credited with turning the tide of war in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

His best-selling leadership books include My Share of the Task: A Memoir and Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World.

He is widely praised for creating a revolution in warfare that fused intelligence and operations. He developed and implemented the counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan and created a comprehensive counter-terrorism organization that revolutionized the way military agencies interact and operate.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates describes McChrystal, a former Green Beret known for his candor and innovative leadership, as “perhaps the finest warrior and leader of men in combat I ever met.” Wired Magazine says, “The former general is a warrior and a visionary who turned a bulky bureaucracy into a fast-moving force.”

In the summer of 2010, Rolling Stone magazine published a profile of McChrystal and quoted men under his command saying insulting things about the president and his staff. Acting as he led, McChrystal resigned.

He began teaching one of the most sought-after classes at Yale (on leadership) just a few months after his letter of resignation. While he instructs the next generation of leaders at Yale, he also advises business leaders to be adaptable through his 90-member consulting firm, McChrystal Group.

The Westmont Foundation and local businesses sponsor the President’s Breakfast to promote discussion of significant issues in the community. This year’s lead sponsor is Union Bank. Gold sponsors include Davies, Anna and David Grotenhuis, Hub International, Carl and Jo Lindros, Lindsay and Laurie Parton, MATT Construction, Santa Barbara Capital, Santa Barbara Securities, and Peter and Monique Thorrington.

Past Westmont President’s Breakfast speakers include David Brooks, New York Times columnist and best-selling author; Doris Kearns Goodwin, presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author; retired Gen. Colin Powell; Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state; Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute and former chairman and CEO of CNN; Thomas Friedman, author of Hot, Flat, and Crowded and The World Is Flat; American historian and best-selling author David McCullough, who has twice won the Pulitzer Prize; and Gates.

The Mosher Foundation’s series on Moral and Ethical Leadership in American Society features Charles Duhigg, New York Times best-selling author of Smarter Faster Better, at noon in the Coral Casino at The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore. Tickets to the luncheon, part of the Mosher Foundation’s series on Moral and Ethical Leadership in American Society, cost $100 each and may be purchased online only at westmont.edu/leadershipseries.

Douglas McKenna, CEO and executive director of the Center for Organizational Leadership, will follow on Feb. 17 with “Habits of the Heart: Cultivating the Dispositions of Great Executives.”

The second annual Lead Where You Stand Conference will feature Ron White on the evening of May 31 speaking about “The Long Arc of Moral and Ethical Leadership: Lincoln, Eisenhower and Martin Luther King Jr.” On June 1, “A Day with David” features lectures, panel discussions and interactive audience participation with New York Times columnist David Brooks. The conference concludes June 2 with McKenna and several TED-talk style presentations by leaders from a variety of organizations and industries.

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.


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