August 2, 2011
DALLAS (SMU) — Robert M. Gates, who retired as secretary of defense just weeks ago, has joined the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series as featured speaker for a Tate Special Event presented by Linda and Mitch Hart at 8 p.m. Sept. 27 in McFarlin Auditorium. Senior political analyst for CNN David Gergen will host the interview.
Gates served under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as the 22nd U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2006-2011. Gates received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, after announcing his retirement in June 2011. Before becoming Secretary of Defense, Gates provided leadership at Texas A&M University for seven years. He served as interim dean of that university’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service from 1999- 2001, and as A&M president from 2002-2006.
Gates previously had a distinguished career of nearly 27 years with the Central Intelligence Agency, rising from an entry level position to director. During that period, he spent nearly nine years with the National Security Council and served four presidents of both political parties. His honors include the National Security Medal, Presidential Citizens Medal and Distinguished Intelligence Medal. Gates earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary, a master’s in history from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University. He served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force.
“SMU is honored to have Dr. Gates join the Tate Lecture Series,” said Brad Cheves, SMU's vice president for development and external affairs. “This special event promises to be a unique night of thought-provoking discussion and a glimpse into the future of international relations.”
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