William & Mary Chancellor and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates ’65, L.H.D. ’98 will discuss his new book, A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform From Fifty Years of Public Service, at William & Mary’s Phi Beta Kappa Hall on Thursday, Feb. 4.
The event, part of the university’s Charter Day weekend activities, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Gates will offer brief welcoming remarks before taking questions from the audience. A book signing will follow the Q&A. Both events are free and open to members of the campus community as well as the general public. Seating for the book talk will be on a first come, first serve basis. Theater doors will open at 5 p.m. It is recommended that guests arrive prior to 5:15 p.m. Books will be available for purchase at PBK both before and after the talk.
Phi Beta Kappa Hall is located on W&M’s campus at 601 Jamestown Rd. in Williamsburg. Parking will be available in the PBK and Morton lots as well as in the parking garage off Ukrop Way.
A Passion for Leadership follows Gates’ #1 best-selling memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War released in 2014. Both books are published by Knopf. A Passion for Leadership 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.
“This book is about people and how to lead them where they often don’t want to go. It is about how a leader can make an institution better, both for those who work there and for those they serve,” Gates writes in the book.
During a career of both public and private service, Gates served as director of the CIA, president of Texas A&M University and secretary of defense.
One reviewer noted, A Passion for Leadership is a “concise distillation of more than five decades of leadership knowledge.”
Gates joined the CIA in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years 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, who holds a doctorate from Georgetown University, turned to academia. He served as dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University before being named president of that university in 2002. He held that position until 2006, when he returned to Washington as the nation’s 22nd secretary of defense.
Gates retired as defense secretary in 2011 after leading the U.S. Department of Defense under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. Prior to becoming defense secretary, he held numerous roles in the executive branch — serving eight presidents during his career.
Gates, a history major who earned several accolades at William & Mary, has served as the university’s chancellor since 2012. He is the first alumnus to hold the honorary position in the 323-year-old institution’s modern era.