News

SMU Tate Lecture Series

SMU Hosts Two Former U.S. Defense Secretaries, CIA Directors, in Tate Lecture Season Opener

WHO:

The Linda and Mitch Hart Lecture of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series presents Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, former U.S. secretaries of defense and directors of the CIA.

David Gergen, CNN senior political analyst and former advisor to four United States presidents, will moderate the lecture.

Robert Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and in 1974 joined the National Security Council, where he served under presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter before returning to the CIA in 1979. Gates served as director of the CIA from 1991 to 1993, the only career officer in the history of the agency to rise from an entry-level employee to director. Gates became president of Texas A&M University in August 2002 before being tapped in 2006 to serve as the 22nd secretary of defense until 2011. He served first under Republican President George W. Bush, and then was retained in that post under Democratic President Barack Obama. He is the only secretary of defense to serve under consecutive presidents of different political parties. President Obama awarded Gates America’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Gates has written a memoir, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War, detailing his years of work in the CIA. He currently serves on the board of directors at Starbucks and as a partner at the consulting firm RiceHadleyGates LLC .

Leon Panetta has dedicated most of his life to public service and continues that commitment at the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy at California State University, a non-profit that seeks to instill the values of public service in young men and women. Panetta represented California’s 16th Congressional District from 1977 until 1993, and then served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton from 1994 until 1997. In 2009, President Obama tapped him as CIA director, where he served until 2011, when he was appointed secretary of defense. While serving under Clinton, Panetta introduced new defense strategies to advance agility, protect benefits for wounded warriors, and provide new opportunities for Americans to serve in the military. He directed the final removal of troops from Iraq and the start of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Most notably, he oversaw the operation that brought Osama bin Laden to justice in 2011. Panetta stepped down as secretary of defense in February 2013.

WHEN:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

STUDENT FORUM:

Time: 4:30-5:15 p.m.

The Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Tate Lecture Series Student Forum is a question and answer session for SMU students, faculty, and local community. Held before the lecture, the forum is from 4:30-5:15 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom, 3140 Dyer St. (west of Airline Road) on the SMU campus.

MEDIA GUIDELINES:

Video taping of the forum is allowed for the first five minutes only. Only still photography using available light will be permitted during the first five minutes of the forum and only from assigned areas. No flash photography. Media interested in covering the Student Forum may park in the visitor lot in front of Patterson Hall to the east of the student center on Dyer Street.

EVENING LECTURE:

Time: 8 p.m.

The Linda and Mitch Hart Lecture of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and moderator David Gergen will be held in McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Ln. on the SMU campus.

Media wishing to cover the evening lecture should contact SMU’s Office of News and Communications at (214) 768-7650 by noon Tuesday, Sept 17.

MEDIA GUIDELINES:

Video taping of the lecture is allowed for the first five minutes of remarks only.  Only still photography using available light will be permitted during the first five minutes of the evening lecture and only from assigned areas. No flash photography.