He served as defense secretary under presidents Obama and George W. Bush, bridging the two administrations and earning a reputation as careful, conservative and consensus-oriented.
June 30, 2011 Robert Gates and President Obama salute during a farewell ceremony for Gates as outgoing defense secretary. Gates served in that position under Obama and President George W. Bush. He was known as a savvy manager of the bureaucracy and a ruthlessly efficient defense secretary. In his new memoir, Gates asserts that Obama had more than doubts about his course in Afghanistan. Evan Vucci/AP Buy Photo