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Robert M. Gates

Principal, Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC; Former Secretary of Defense (2006-2011); Former President, Texas A&M University


Robert Gates served as the 22nd Secretary of Defense (2006-2011). He is the only secretary of defense in U.S. history to be asked to remain in office by a newly elected president. Dr. Gates served eight U.S. presidents across both parties. On Gates’s last day in office, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. Before becoming secretary of defense in 2006, Gates was the president of Texas A&M University, one of the nation’s largest universities. Gates served in the CIA for nearly 27 years, culminating his service as director of Central Intelligence from 1991 to 1993. He is the only career officer in CIA’s history to rise from entry level employee to director. He spent nearly nine years on the National Security Council at the White House, serving four administrations across both parties. Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, has three times received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and has three times received CIA’s highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. Gates currently is a principal at the consulting firm, Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel, LLC, with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, and Executive Director of the Aspen Strategy Group Anja Manuel. Additionally, he is Chancellor of William & Mary, his alma mater. He has served on various public boards, to include Starbucks, Fidelity Funds, the NCAA, the American Council on Education, and the Boy Scouts of America. Gates has authored four books, covering his experiences at CIA and at the Pentagon, leadership, and US nonmilitary instruments of power.

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