Gates served as the 22nd secretary of defense from 2006 to 2011, and is the only secretary of defense in United States history to be asked to remain in that office by a newly elected President.
Gates has served under President Barak Obama and President George W. Bush. In his last day in office, President Barak Obama awarded Gates the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honour.
“I am very pleased to be invited into Cunard’s Insights program and to share stories from my career,” Gates said. “I look forward to meeting guests from all over the world, and to experiencing one of Queen Mary 2's renowned Transatlantic Crossings."
During the Crossing, Gates will share his insights with guests during two Q&A sessions with Queen Mary 2’s Entertainment Director. Guests will also have the opportunity to attend a book-signing session with Gates during the voyage.
“We look forward to welcoming the celebrated Robert Gates to the Cunard Insights programme. We know our guests will enjoy learning about his significant contributions in public service, his tenure in national security and about his past and current business ventures,” said Richard Meadows, president of Cunard, North America.
Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional. During that period, he spent nearly nine years at the National Security Council, the White House, serving four presidents of both political parties.
He served as director of Central Intelligence from 1991 until 1993 and is the only career officer in CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to director. He served as deputy director of Central Intelligence and as assistant to the President and deputy national security adviser at the White House.
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.
Over his career, Gates has authored two memoirs - Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (2014), an account of his experience serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (1996) which details his career as a CIA officer at the center of power during a time when the threat of global annihilation informed America’s every move.
Gates currently serves on the board of directors of Starbucks and is partner in the consulting firm, RHG LLC, with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others. He has also served on the board of directors and executive committee of the American Council on Education, the board of directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and is President of the Boy Scouts of America.
For more information about Queen Mary 2 and to book a voyage, contact your Travel Consultant, call Cunard toll-free at 1-800-728-6273, or go to www.cunard.com
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Christened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2004, Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 defines luxury travel for the 21st Century and continues a 175-year legacy of transatlantic travel. Queen Mary 2 achieved her 200th Transatlantic Crossing in July 2013. Famous names who have experienced this iconic voyage since 2004 include President George H.W. Bush, Desmond Tutu, James Taylor, Wes Anderson, Tilda Swinton, George Takei, Kim Novak, Uma Thurman, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cleese and Angela Bassett.
Cunard, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and the epitome of British refinement since the company's first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840. Cunard voyages bring together like-minded travellers who seek a civilised adventure and relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment. Today, Cunard offers the only regularly scheduled Transatlantic liner service and continues the legacy of world cruising which it began in 1922.
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