Media Advisory: Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to Lead Off 2011-12 Distinguished Speakers Series at UB

Release Date: September 20, 2011

Former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates will open the 25th season of the University at Buffalo's Distinguished Speakers Series with a program at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, in Alumni Arena on the UB North Campus.

The lecture is part of a broad range of events celebrating the inauguration of Satish K. Tripathi as UB's 15th president, events that will emphasize the university's excellence in research, education and service; its efforts to create a vibrant and healthy community; and the many ways in which UB faculty, students and staff engage the Western New York community and the world beyond.

Gates is expected to discuss a range of topics, from defense budget cuts to the rise of China as a world power, as well as his time as defense secretary.

Gates served from 2006 until this year as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense, a position he held under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

He spent 27 years as an intelligence professional, and held many major posts including those of director (1991-93) and deputy director (1986-89) of the Central Intelligence Agency. From 1989 to 1991 he served as assistant to the president and White House national security advisor in the administration of President George H.W. Bush and, for his public service, received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Security Medal.

Gates holds a PhD in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University and was the president of Texas A&M University from 2002-06.

During the program, audio and/or video photography, as well as still photography, will be limited to the first five minutes of his lecture.

Working media may reserve tickets for the program by contacting Christine Vidal in the UB Office of Communications at 645-4607 or no later than noon on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Reserved tickets may be picked up at the will-call window in Alumni Arena prior to the program. Media may need to show press credentials in order to be admitted to the program.

Media Contact Information

Christine Vidal
Director of News Content
Community Engagement, International Education
Tel: 716-645-4607