On Feb. 6, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA Robert Gates will speak to guests at the Hattiesburg Saenger Theatre.
According to the university website, Gates will be a featured speaker in The University of Southern Mississippi’s Lt. Col. John Dale Sr. Distinguished Lecture Series in International Security and Global Policy.
Gates will discuss his knowledge of the dangers the United States, as well as other countries, are facing. Gates will touch on other topics of international interest, and he will also discuss his book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.”
“We live in an uncertain world where conflict sadly seems to be one of the constants of the future,” said Andrew Wiest, founding director of the Center for the Study of War and Society. “Understanding the international situation, the threats and the opportunities we face is key to understanding our future as a nation,” he said.
Wiest said Gates was chosen to be a featured speaker in the lecture series due to his intelligence concerning various national interests abroad.
“Dr. Gates has an unparalleled knowledge in this important field (and) a wealth of knowledge that we felt important to bring to the people of Mississippi,” Wiest said.
Previously, Gates worked under presidents George Bush and Barack Obama as the 22nd Secretary of Defense. He had also been in the CIA for 27 years prior to his secretary position. During his last day in office, Gates was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.
According to a press release, the annual lecture series was created with the intent to inform locals about current issues going on in both the United States and all over the globe.
Past guest speakers include former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Wyche Fowler and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
The event will begin at 7 p.m., and while Gates’ lecture will last approximately half an hour, the latter half of the event will be an opportunity for the audience to ask Gates questions. The speech is free and open to the public.