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Ex-defense secretary to keynote NACDS Annual Meeting
January 18th, 2013
ARLINGTON, Va. – Robert Gates, who served as secretary of defense under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, will be the keynote speaker at the 2013 NACDS Annual Meeting.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced Gates as the speaker on Friday. The Annual Meeting is scheduled for April 20 to 23 in Palm Beach, Fla.
Gates served as the nation's 22nd secretary of defense from 2006 to 2011 under Bush and then under Obama, making him the only defense secretary to be asked to remain in that office by a newly elected president. Obama awarded Gates the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, on his last day in office in 2011.
"We are honored to have Dr. Gates as our keynote speaker at the NACDS Annual Meeting," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in a statement. "His highly regarded and distinguished career and experience as secretary of defense and nearly three decades as an intelligence professional under eight U.S. presidents will no doubt engage and inspire attendees at this year's meeting."
A native of Kansas, Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and served for 27 years in various intelligence roles, including with the National Security Council and the White House. He served as director of the CIA from 1991 to 1993, which made him the only career officer in the CIA's history to rise from an entry-level employee to director.
In the private sector, Gates has served as president of Texas A&M University and on a number of boards, including the Executive Committee of the American Council on Education and the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America.
Gates has received a number of awards, including the National Security Medal, Presidential Citizens Medal and the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, which the CIA awarded him three times. He has also authored "From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insiders Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War," published in 1996.