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Who is Paula Broadwell?

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WASHINGTON, DC -

Paula Broadwell is the co-author of a biography of General David Petraeus, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus."

CIA Director David Petraeus resigned Friday after admitting to an extramarital affair -- an affair with his biographer that was revealed over the course of an FBI investigation, Fox News has learned.

The FBI had been investigating an unrelated and much broader case before stumbling on the affair. Fox News has learned that during the course of this investigation, the name of biographer Paula Broadwell came up. The FBI followed that lead and in doing so, uncovered his affair with her. The FBI for some time was concerned that perhaps Petraeus was some sort of victim, but there has been no evidence discovered to back up such concerns.

Petraeus and Broadwell apparently used a trick, known to terrorists and teenagers alike, to conceal their email traffic, one of the law enforcement officials said.

Rather than transmitting emails to the other's inbox, they composed at least some messages and instead of transmitting them, left them in a draft folder or in an electronic "dropbox," the official said. Then the other person could log onto the same account and read the draft emails there. This avoids creating an email trail that is easier to trace.

Broadwell had co-authored a biography titled "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus," published in January. In the preface, she said she met Petraeus in the spring of 2006 while she was a graduate student at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and she ended up following him on multiple trips to Afghanistan as part of her research.

But the contents of the email exchanges between Petraeus and Broadwell suggested to FBI agents that their relationship was intimate. The FBI concluded relatively quickly -- by late summer at the latest -- that no security breach had occurred, the two senior law enforcement officials said. But the FBI continued its investigation into whether Petraeus had any role in the harassing emails.

Broadwell did not respond to voice mail or email messages seeking comment

Petraeus met with President Obama on Thursday before submitting his letter of resignation, which the president accepted. In a message to staff, Petraeus said he asked "to be allowed" to step down.

Paula Broadwell first met fellow West Point graduate David Petraeus in the spring of 2006, when she was a graduate student at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

He was a lieutenant general working on a counterinsurgency manual that would be tested during his command in Iraq. The university had invited him to give a speech.

Broadwell was in the Army Reserve after being recalled three times to active duty since the Sept. 11 attacks to work on counterterrorism issues and intended to return to active duty or get into the policy world, according to the preface of the Petraeus biography she would later write with a Washington Post editor.

Petraeus, who held much-praised military commands in Iraq and Afghanistan, resigned Friday after admitting he had an extramarital affair, a disclosure that ended the retired four-star general's civilian career as director of the CIA.

He carried on the affair with Broadwell, now 40, according to several U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation. The officials spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss publicly the investigation that led to the resignation. The FBI discovered the relationship by monitoring Petraeus' emails, after investigators were alerted that Broadwell may have had access to his personal email account, two of the officials said.

Broadwell wrote in the preface to "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus," published by Penguin in January, that while at Harvard, Petraeus passed along his card and offered to help her academic work on leadership. The book's ranking on Amazon.com jumped from 76,792 on Friday to 111 by midday Saturday.

"I later discovered that he was famous for this type of mentoring and networking, especially with aspiring soldier-scholars," Broadwell wrote, adding that "I took full advantage of his open-door policy to seek insight and share perspectives."

Broadwell is a research associate at Harvard's Center for Public Leadership and a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of War Studies at King's College London, according to her biography on Penguin's website. According to The Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune, she grew up in North Dakota and moved to Charlotte, N.C., more than three years ago with her husband, a radiologist, and their two young sons.

The book began as research for her dissertation, a case study of Petraeus' leadership. It evolved into an authorized biography written with Washington Post editor Vernon Loeb after President Barack Obama put Petraeus in charge of Afghanistan in 2010.

Two years earlier, she wrote in the book's preface, while visiting Washington he had invited her to join him and his team for a run along the Potomac River.

"I'd earned varsity letters in cross-country and indoor and outdoor track and finished at the top of my class for athletics at West Point; I wanted to see if he could keep stride during an interview. Instead it became a test for me," she wrote. He eventually increased the pace "until the talk turned to heavy breathing, and we reached a 6-minute-per-mile pace. It was a signature Petraeus move. I think I passed the test, but I didn't bother to transcribe the interview."

In the Army Reserve, she specialized in military intelligence, spending time at the U.S. Special Operations Command and the FBI Counterterrorism Task Forces before pursuing an academic career, according to her Penguin bio. She "lived, worked, or traveled in more than 60 countries during more than 15 years of military service and work in geopolitical analysis and counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations," her bio states.

Broadwell made multiple trips to Afghanistan, with unprecedented access to Petraeus, and also spent time with his commanders across the country.

When Petraeus left the military and took the job at the CIA, Broadwell kept in contact with him and sometimes was invited to his office for events such as his meeting with actress Angelina Jolie.

"History has yet to fully judge Petraeus' service in Iraq and Afghanistan, his impact on the U.S. military and his rank among America's wartime leaders," Broadwell wrote in the preface. "But there is no denying that he achieved a great deal during his 37-year Army career, not the least of which was regaining the strategic initiative in both wars" after Sept. 11, 2001.

"His critics fault him for ambition and self-promotion. I will note in the pages that follow that he is driven and goal-oriented, but his energy, optimism and will to win stand out more for me than the qualities seized on by his critics."

In an interview with The Bismarck Tribune shortly after the biography was published, Broadwell said Petraeus was a motivational force not only for organizations but individuals as well.

"He inspires people of all ages to improve themselves. On that note, I would conclude that his sheer energy whether applied to soldiering, scholarly pursuits, public outreach or mentoring can be equally empowering for an organization or an individual subordinate," Broadwell said.

With the book done, Broadwell told friends she was returning to her dissertation, using part of her research on Petraeus to complete her doctorate.

According to Broadwell's biography on her web site (since taken down), http://www.paulabroadwell.com, she "is a research associate at Harvard University's Center for Public Leadership and a PhD candidate in the Department of War Studies at King's College London. She spent much of the past year in Afghanistan as an embedded author, building upon her previous two-year pursuit of a doctoral dissertation: a study in transformational leadership and organizational innovation influenced by U.S. Army General David Petraeus. "

Her web site goes on to say, "She graduated with academic and leadership honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point."

"Paula is married to Dr. Scott Broadwell, an interventional radiologist who has saved more lives than she has. They have two very busy young boys, Lucien and Landon. They live together in Charlotte, NC, and when Paula is not on the frontlines, online, or writing lines, they love to run, ski, and surf together."

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