Robert M. Gates was sworn in Dec. 18, 2006, as the 22nd secretary of defense. Before his present post, Gates was the president of Texas A&M University.
Prior to assuming the Texas A&M presidency, he served as interim dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001.
Gates spent nearly 27 years with the CIA as an intelligence professional. During his tenure, he spent nearly nine years at the National Security Council at the White House.
From 1991 to 1993, Gates served as director of central intelligence, and he is the only career officer in CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to director. He served as deputy director of central intelligence from 1986 to 1989, and as assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser at the White House from 1989 to 1991
Among many honors, Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, and has twice received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal.
Until becoming secretary of defense, Gates served as chairman of the Independent Trustees of The Fidelity Funds, and on the board of directors of NACCO Industries, Inc., Brinker International, Inc. and Parker Drilling Company, Inc.
Gates received his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary, his master’s degree in history from Indiana University, and his doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University.