Dr. Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense (2006-2011), to deliver public policy address at MCLA


NORTH ADAMS, MA - Former Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert M. Gates, who served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and on the National Security Council, will deliver a public policy address for Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) newly named "Michael S. and Kitty Dukakis Lecture" on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. in the MCLA Amsler Campus Center gymnasium.

Made possible through the generosity of the Ruth Proud Charitable Trust, the event is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required.

At their Oct. 27 meeting, the MCLA Board of Trustees voted to endorse a proposal to name the annual fall public policy lecture in honor of former Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis and his wife, Kitty Dukakis.

"'The Michael S. and Kitty Dukakis Lecture' will continue to bring nationally and internationally renowned speakers to MCLA to share their experience and expertise with students, faculty, staff and members of the North Adams community," said MCLA President Mary K. Grant.

At this fall's lecture, Gates will speak on a variety of topics - to include global politics, U.S. foreign policy, U.S. intelligence and defense strategies.

The country's 22nd secretary of defense, from 2006 to 2011, Gates is the only secretary of defense in United States history to be asked to remain in that office by a newly-elected president. Having previously served under President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama is the eighth president Gates has served.

 "As a U.S. secretary of defense, Dr. Robert Gates played a key role during a critical time in our country's history. With nearly 27 years in the CIA and the National Security Council, he will share his experiences and expertise regarding the safety of our nation during this special evening with the MCLA campus and our community," said John DeRosa, administrator of the Ruth Proud Charitable Trust. "I hope the public will join us for what should be an enlightening discussion as one of this country's most influential leaders speaks with us."

On June 30, Gates' last day in office, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor.

Before becoming Secretary of Defense in 2006, Dr. Gates was the President of Texas A&M University, the nation's seventh largest university. Previously he served as Interim Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001.

Secretary 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.

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 is the author of the memoir, "From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insiders Story of Five
Presidents and How They Won the Cold War," published in 1996.

Steve Crowe, chair of MCLA's Board of Trustees and president of Mountain One Financial Partners said, "The Board of Trustees is excited and extremely grateful to the Ruth Proud Charitable Trust for their commitment to ensuring that MCLA will be able to continue this lecture series.

"The board also is excited about naming this lecture in honor of Michael S. and Kitty Dukakis because of their lifelong commitment to public service and education, which is a perfect fit with the mission of MCLA," Crowe continued. "The Dukakises have deep connections in the Berkshires and Governor Dukakis was instrumental in the evolution of MASS MoCA. With the new name of this series, we will honor the Dukakises in recognition of their service to the Commonwealth, their instrumental role in the creation of MASS MoCA, and their long history of support for North Adams and Berkshire County."

According to Francis Oakley, President Emeritus Williams College, "From the Governor's Task Force for Economic Development in the Northern Berkshires, commissioned by Governor Dukakis in response to the massive unemployment following the 1984 closure of Sprague Electric, to his stubborn insistence on the highest quality design and construction of the now-landmark French King bridge, to his heroic sponsorship of MASS MoCA's enabling legislation in 1988, Michael Dukakis has brought expansive, fluid thinking and the highest of standards to public policy."

Governor Dukakis served the Commonwealth for three terms. In 1988, he was the Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States. He currently serves as a professor of political science at Northeastern University, and as a distinguished fellow of the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern. He also teaches as a visiting professor of public policy in the Department of Urban Planning at the UCLA School of Public Affairs.

Mrs. Dukakis is a distinguished fellow of the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern. She is involved with a range of public service and philanthropic activities, including serving on the President's Commission on the Holocaust, on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, on the board of the Refugee Policy Center, and on the Task Force on Cambodian Children.

For more information, go to notablespeakers/publicpolicylecture or call (413) 662-5185.