Gates, 63, is currently president of Texas A&M University and served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Advisor under President George H.W. Bush.
"The Secretary of Defense must be a man of vision who can see threats still over the horizon, and prepare our nation to meet them," stated President Bush in announcing his nomination of Gates. "Bob Gates is the right man to meet both of these critical challenges."
During Gates' 27-year career at the CIA, he served as an intelligence advisor to six presidents representing both parties. He is currently a member of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group. Gates has been awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal and the National Security Medal.
The nomination of Mr. Gates will require confirmation by the U.S. Senate. The Senate is not expected to take up Gates' nomination until the 110th Congress is sworn in on January 3, 2007.