Robert Gates to Publish with Knopf

Former Secretary of Defense Signs Two-book Deal for Memoir and Book on Leadership

NEW YORK, July 19, 2011 – Robert Gates, United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011, will publish two books with Alfred A. Knopf, it was announced today by Sonny Mehta, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. The first book will be a memoir and is tentatively scheduled to be published in 2013; the second book will focus on leadership and is expected to be published the following year.

Gates served as Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush, replacing Donald Rumsfeld, and continued in that capacity under President Barack Obama, until his official retirement last month. Prior to his role as the Secretary of Defense, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and on the National Security Council, and under President George H. W. Bush, he was Director of the C.I.A. from 1991 to 1993. He also served as President of Texas A&M from 2002 to 2006.

As yet untitled, Mr. Gates’s memoir will reflect on his role as Secretary of Defense, and it will detail many of the pivotal events that occurred during his tenure there — such as his review of the U.S. policy and strategy in Afghanistan, the withdrawal of troops in Iraq, his decision to replace Gen. David D. McKiernan with Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as commander in Afghanistan, and the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Mr. Gates said: “As the nation’s only secretary of defense to serve two presidents of different political parties and with the United States at war every day of my four and a half years in office, I want to tell my story of constant conflict abroad and in Washington. I will share insights gleaned from my experience of working for two very different presidents in two administrations of very different political stripes. I also want to write about the military I was privileged to lead and its challenges in war and at home.”

The second book will focus on Gates’s philosophy about leadership, his views about great leaders he has admired, and his thoughts about effective leadership, even in the face of adversity and difficulty. Gates was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report in 2008, and he was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Obama at his retirement ceremony.

“Having led and brought significant change to three large public institutions,” Mr. Gates said,  “I also want to write a book on how to successfully reform and change public institutions. At a time when government at every level seems paralyzed by bureaucracy and politics, I want to share how I overcame those obstacles and enabled dedicated professionals to better accomplish their missions—techniques I believe also apply to most organizations and companies.”

Mr. Mehta said, “We are delighted to be publishing Robert Gates. He has a unique perspective not only on intelligence-gathering and national defense, but also on the decisions and policies that have affected the U.S. and our relationship with other countries around the world.”

Knopf bought world rights to the two books. Mr. Gates was represented in the negotiations by Wayne Kabak of WSK Management.

Alfred A. Knopf is an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.  Random House is owned by Bertelsmann AG, the international media company.

CONTACT: Paul Bogaards, Executive Vice President, Executive Director of Publicity, Promotion and Media Relations, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, (212) 572-2177