Tough. Indefatigable. Patient. Smart. Knowledgeable. Superior political instincts. Funny. Loyal team player. Finds opportunities in crises and challenges. Skilled global advocate for American interests and American values. That is my job description for U.S. Secretary of State. Fortunately, the job has been filled for the past three-plus years by someone who has all those qualities: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In a world that is ever more complex, turbulent and dangerous, Secretary Clinton, 64, has made a singular contribution to strengthening this country's relationships with allies, partners and friends; rallying other countries to join us in dealing with challenges to the global order, from Libya and Iran to the South China Sea; and reaching out to people in scores of countries to demonstrate that America cares about them.
She has developed, for the first time, long-range, comprehensive strategies for diplomacy and development that will strengthen the critical civilian contribution to America's national security abroad. We worked closely together to integrate and coordinate the efforts of the departments of State and Defense.
Equally important, Secretary Clinton has been thoughtful and tough-minded about where and how the U.S. should engage its prestige, its resources and its men and women in the field, both civilian and military. She is an idealistic realist and a superb Secretary of State and has well served the President and our country.
Gates is a former Defense Secretary of the U.S. and current chancellor of the College of William and Mary