public official, became Secretary of Defense in December, succeeding Donald Rumsfeld, who resigned the day after Republicans lost control of both the House and Senate in midterm elections. Gates has spent most of his career as a public official, serving on the National Security Council and for nearly two decades in the CIA. He was the director of the CIA under the first President Bush. Prior to his nomination, Gates had been the president of Texas A&M University. During his confirmation hearings, Gates said that he did not believe the United States in winning the war in Iraq, a clear contradiction of earlier statements by President Bush.