Articles

Former Secretary of Defense, CIA Director, Robert Gates Speaks on Leading Change at Thunderbird School of Global Management

October 7, 2013

It is important to differentiate between leadership and management, former Secretary of Defense and former Director of the CIA Robert Gates, Ph.D., told students, staff and faculty of Thunderbird School of Global Management during a campus visit today.

The highlight of his visit was his presentation on leading change in which he noted that leadership is much more than managing well.  

“You must see what others cannot or will not see and be prepared to act,” said Gates, adding that “having the right vision is one thing, but following through and getting results is a different thing.”

Gates has repeatedly proven the excellence of his own leadership skills throughout his career. He served as Secretary of Defense from 2006 – 2011 and is the only defense secretary in U.S. history to be asked to remain in that office by a newly elected president, making him also the only person in that role to serve Presidents from both political parties.

On Gates’ last day in office, President Barack Obama awarded him America’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Prior to serving as defense secretary, Gates held senior leadership roles at Texas A&M University, first as interim dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service, and later, as president of the university. Gates earned his doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University.

He was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1991 until 1993, concluding more than a quarter century of service as an Intelligence professional.

In addition to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, has three times received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and has three times received CIA’s highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.  He was also recognized as one of TIME’s Most Influential People in 2007.

Gates currently serves on the board of directors of Starbucks and is partner in the consulting firm, Rice Hadley Gates LLP.

Gates’ visit to Thunderbird came via sponsorship from Thunderbird’s planned strategic partner Laureate Education, Inc. This is the first of a series of high-caliber speakers that Laureate is committing to bring to Thunderbird’s campus in an ongoing series that will supplement the school’s existing Global Issues Forum lineup.  

Media contact:

Virginia Mungovan

virginia.mungovan@thunderbird.edu

(602) 978-7081

 

About Thunderbird School of Global Management        

Thunderbird is the world’s No.1-ranked school of international business with nearly 70 years of experience in developing leaders with the global mindset, business skills and social responsibility necessary to create real, sustainable value for their organizations, communities and the world.

Dedicated to preparing students to be global leaders and committed global citizens, Thunderbird was the first graduate business school to adopt a Professional Oath of Honor. Thunderbird’s global network of alumni numbers 40,000 graduates in 148 nations worldwide. The school is sought out by graduate students, working professionals and companies seeking to gain the skills necessary for success in today’s global economy. For more about Thunderbird, visit http://www.thunderbird.edu.