ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates as the keynote speaker for the 2013 NACDS Annual Meeting, which will be held April 20 to 23 in Palm Beach, Fla.
“We are honored to have Dr. Gates as our keynote speaker at the NACDS Annual Meeting,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “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.”
Gates served as the nation’s 22nd Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011, starting under President George W. Bush and asked to remain in his post under President Barack Obama, making him the only Secretary of Defense in U.S. history to remain in that office by a newly-elected president. President Obama awarded Gates the highest civilian honor — the Presidential Medal of Freedom — on Gates’ last day in office in 2011.
Joining the CIA in 1966, Gates served for 27 years in a number of intelligence capacities, including the National Security Council, The White House and became director of the CIA from 1991 to 1993. He is the only career officer in CIA’s history to rise from an entry-level employee to director.
Gates also served in roles in the private sector, including as president of Texas A&M University and served 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 is the recipient of a number of awards including the National Security Medal, Presidential Citizens Medal and three-time recipient of the CIA’s highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. He has also authored the memoir, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insiders Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War, published in 1996.