Holly Petraeus, the wife of retired four-star Gen. David Petraeus, has found herself in the spotlight after her husband admitted to having an extramarital affair on Friday and resigned as director of the CIA.
Holly Petraeus is currently the assistant director, service member affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), where she has been an important early leader of the fledgling agency.
She and her husband became engaged in 1974 while they were both still in college, she at Dickinson and he at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, according to a New York Times announcement of their engagement. They have been married for 37 years and have two grown children.
At the CFPB, Holly Petraeus conducts outreach with military families, and has been an important figure in its crackdowns on abusive lending and illegal foreclosures that banks have performed against military families in recent years. Banks are legally barred from foreclosing on the homes of active-duty military personnel, but had ignored the rule in recent years, until the CFPB began monitoring the abuses.
Holly Petraeus also flagged banking problems for military families who had been ordered by the armed services to relocate. In cases where families were having trouble paying their mortgage, banks were erroneously encouraging homeowners to miss payments -- a situation which led to needless foreclosures. In many other cases, banks were simply failing to respond to homeowner inquiries or work out alternative payment options for families who had to move for their military jobs. Holly Petraeus helped craft new regulatory guidance cracking down on such abuses.
In a statement posted to CNN, David Petraeus said that he "showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair," and called the behavior "unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of" the CIA.
Petraeus said in his statement that he asked President Barack Obama on Thursday for permission to resign.