Exclusively WSBRobert Gates

Robert Gates

Secretary of Defense (2006-2011); Author, New York Times Best Seller, DUTY: Memoirs of a Secretary at War and A Passion for Leadership

One of the most respected leaders in recent U.S. history, Robert Gates served eight U.S. presidents, influencing U.S. intelligence and defense policies over the past four and a half decades from the Cold War to today’s ongoing war on terrorism.


  • Leadership vs. Management

  • On Reforming Bureaucracies: Advice to Leaders

  • The Position of the United States Relative to Asia

  • Global Cyber Security

  • Behind the Scenes in Washington and Hopes for the Future

  • A Passion for Leadership

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    The only officer in the history of the CIA to rise from entry-level employee to director, Dr. Gates has consistently been a successful leader of change throughout an exceptional career. In this candid, inspiring presentation based on his book A Passion for Leadership, Dr. Gates draws on years of dedicated leadership at the CIA, Texas A&M University and the Department of Defense to offer wisdom and encouragement to leaders on how to successfully implement change and transform their organizations. In a time of change, companies have to change all the time to be competitive. How do you recognize and preserve the tradition and culture that made a company great, and determine what is in the way? Assessing the failures of big institutions, Dr. Gates offers innovative and practical advice, sharing personal anecdotes and experiences as most pertinent to your audience.


  • DUTY

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    In this presentation, Dr. Gates shares his views about the most pressing threats to global stability and America’s security. He focuses on his experience dealing with these issues as defense secretary under presidents Bush and Obama—an experience recounted vividly in his recent best-selling book, Duty.  He draws heavily on his memoir sharing his views on the way America's government—White House, cabinet agencies, and Congress—works, and too often does not work. We face one of the most complex, dangerous and uncertain international environments today. From rising military tensions with Russia and China, multiple conflicts in the Middle East and the threat of ISIS, to dicey trade relations and economic challenges confronting Europe, Dr. Gates foresees a generation of conflict, and predicts we will continue to face the most challenging international environment since the Cold War for some time to come.


  • Remarks by Robert Gates

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    Robert Gates will speak to a wide variety of domestic and global issues and engage in a Q&A session with the audience.

    Topic areas include:

    • Global Politics and U.S. Foreign Policy
    • U.S. Intelligence, Defense Strategies and Global Cybersecurity Threats
    • Leadership, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution



  • A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years of Public Service
  • Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War
  • From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War

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