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Announcement of the Resignation of William J. Casey and the Nomination of Robert M. Gates as Director of Central Intelligence

February 02, 1987

The President today accepts with reluctance and deep regret the resignation of William Casey as Director of Central Intelligence. Director Casey remains in Georgetown Hospital recovering from his recent operation. The President has asked Mr. Casey to become Counsellor to the President whenever Mr. Casey feels his recovery is sufficient to assume those responsibilities. The President and Mr. Casey have enjoyed a long private and professional relationship. The President commends Mr. Casey for his outstanding leadership at the CIA and for his service to the Nation. An exchange of letters will be available later today.

The President will nominate Robert M. Gates, who has been Acting Director of the CIA during Mr. Casey's illness, to be the new Director of Central Intelligence. Mr. Gates will continue to run the CIA during the process of his nomination. Mr. Gates was sworn in as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence on April 18, 1986. A native of Kansas, he received his B.A. degree from the College of William and Mary in 1965, his master's degree in history from Indiana University in 1966, and his doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University in 1974.

Mr. Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966, serving as an intelligence analyst and as one of two Assistant National Intelligence Officers for Strategic Programs. In 1974 he was assigned to the National Security Council staff. After nearly 6 years at the National Security Council, serving three Presidents, Mr. Gates returned to the Central Intelligence Agency in late 1979. He subsequently was appointed to a series of administrative positions and served as National Intelligence Officer for the Soviet Union prior to his appointment as Deputy Director for Intelligence in January 1982. As DDI for nearly 4 1/2 years, Mr. Gates directed the Central Intelligence Agency's component responsible for all analysis and production of finished intelligence. In September 1983 Director Casey appointed Mr. Gates Chairman of the National Intelligence Council concurrent with his position as Deputy Director. As Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Mr. Gates directed the preparation of all national intelligence estimates prepared by the Intelligence Community.

Mr. Gates is the recipient of the Distinguished Intelligence Medal; the Intelligence Medal of Merit; and the Arthur S. Fleming Award, which is presented annually to the 10 most outstanding young men and women in the Federal service. Mr. Gates and his wife Becky have two children.

Ronald Reagan, Announcement of the Resignation of William J. Casey and the Nomination of Robert M. Gates as Director of Central Intelligence Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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