Robert Gates to Speak about New Book During Charter Day Events

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Chancellor Gates on campus in May of 2013. Photo credit: Stephen Salpukas/College of William & Mary.
Chancellor Gates on campus in May of 2013. Photo credit: Stephen Salpukas/College of William & Mary.

College of William & Mary Chancellor and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates will host a signing and discussion for his new book A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform From Fifty Years of Public Service at Phi Beta Kappa Hall as part of the college’s Charter Day festivities this week.

Attendees can hear Gates’ personal take on his book at Thursday’s event, which will kick off with some brief opening remarks from Gates followed by an audience question-and-answer session. The evening will conclude with a book signing.

The doors will open at 5 p.m. Feb. 4 and seating is on a first come, first served basis. Both the talk and signing are free and open to the public.

Gates’ latest book is a follow-up to his best-selling 2014 memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. It takes “a candid and instructive look beyond the structural and cultural landscapes at large institutions – public and private – to the people that make them run and the role committed leadership can play in yielding real, reformative change,” according to a recent William & Mary news release.

“This book is about people and how to lead them where they often don’t want to go,” Gates said. “It is about how a leader can make an institution better, both for those who work there and for those they serve.”

Over the course of Gates’ long career, he has served in high-profile positions in both the public and private sectors beginning with his 27 years with the CIA.

Gates joined the CIA in 1966 and spent the next three decades as an intelligence professional, including nine years at the National Security Council. He served as the agency’s director from 1991 to 1993.

After leaving the CIA, Gates went on to serve as dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. He was named president of the university in 2002, a position he held until 2006 when he was appointed Secretary of Defense.

Gates served as Secretary of Defense under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, retiring in 2011 after rounding out nearly five decades in public service.