DALLAS (October 30, 2013) — Today the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Executive Board elected Dr. Robert M. Gates, former secretary of defense and former director of central intelligence, to the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America. Dr. Gates will serve as a member of the executive committee and as the national president-elect.
Gates’ appointment was made upon the recommendation of national volunteer and professional leaders including the BSA national nominating committee. This move means that upon approval of voting members of the National Council, Gates would begin a two-year term as the BSA national president in May 2014 and lead the National Executive Board, which guides the Boy Scouts of America as it serves approximately 2.6 million youth members.
“There is no finer program for preparing American boys for citizenship and leadership than the Boy Scouts of America. As an Eagle Scout, I know firsthand how impactful this program can be and I believe its mission is more important today than ever before,” said Gates. “I am honored to take on this role and look forward to working on behalf of the millions of youth and adult members who make Scouting what it is today—an organization providing life-changing opportunities to today’s youth.”
Gates has a long history of participation and service in the BSA. He is a past member of the National Executive Board; past president of the National Eagle Scout Association; a distinguished Eagle Scout; recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest commendation given by the BSA for extraordinary service to youth; and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, the highest mark of distinction and recognition for those with exceptional service and unselfish interests.
“Our country and its young people need Scouting, and Boy Scouts of America is honored to have Dr. Gates serve on our National Executive Board as the national president-elect,” said Wayne Brock, Chief Scout Executive. “I believe Dr. Gates’ vision and passion for Scouting will continue to allow the BSA to focus on delivering the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training to the young people of this nation.”
During his notable career, Gates has served eight U.S. presidents of both political parties. He is the only secretary of defense to be asked to remain in that office by a newly elected president. Prior to his post at the Department of Defense, Gates was the president of Texas A&M University, the nation’s seventh-largest university. Gates also served as director of central intelligence and is the only career officer in the CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to director.
Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal and the Presidential Citizens Medal, has twice received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and has three times received the CIA’s highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. On his last day in office as secretary of defense, Gates was awarded the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Obama.
In addition to Scouting, Gates is the chancellor of the College of William and Mary and has served on the board of directors and executive committee of the American Council on Education and the board of directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.
A native of Kansas, Gates received his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary, his master’s degree in history from Indiana University, and his doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University. He is the author of Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, to be released January 14, 2014. His memoir, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War, was published in 1996. He and his wife, Becky, have two grown children.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of 2.6 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and more than a million volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.