Eisenhower Fellowships welcomes new chairman, former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, awards Eisenhower Medal of Leadership and Service to David and Susan Eisenhower

Philadelphia–Eisenhower Fellowships will welcome former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates as its new chairman at its Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on May 17, 2018. Secretary Gates, who served eight American presidents of both political parties, will become the 9th chairman of the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit international leadership organization. He succeeds General Colin L. Powell (USA, Retired) as chairman of Eisenhower Fellowships (EF).

Secretary Gates will present the 2018 Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service to David and Susan Eisenhower at the EF Annual Awards dinner at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. David and Susan Eisenhower, are widely respected authorities in American politics and foreign policy and energy issues, respectively. Both are grandchildren of President Eisenhower, serve on the EF’s Board of Trustees and are active ambassadors for the organization.

Secretary Gates will also bestow EF’s 2018 Distinguished Fellow Award, the organization’s highest honor for a Fellow, to Mari Pangestu of Indonesia. Dr. Pangestu is a deeply engaged Eisenhower Fellow with a distinguished career as a government minister, professor and entrepreneur spanning 30 years in government, academia, diplomacy and private sector.

At a reception before the Awards Dinner, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will welcome Secretary Gates to the City of Brotherly Love, home to Eisenhower Fellowships for the past 65 years. Established by the EF Board of Trustees in 1988, the Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service is awarded annually to a business leader, states person, or other public figure who has achieved, through direct personal contacts across boundaries, widely-recognized advances toward President Eisenhower’s vision of peace and productivity through person-to-person international dialogue.

In announcing the 2018 award recipients, Secretary Gates paid tribute to David and Susan Eisenhower’s many professional accomplishments and their commitment to the EF mission of enhancing international understanding.

“Both David and Susan Eisenhower are champions of President Eisenhower’s vision of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world,” Secretary Gates said. “They share a deep commitment to Eisenhower Fellowships’ mission and their grandfather’s legacy of fostering greater understanding and collaboration between the United States and the rest of the world. In today’s turbulent times, this mission is more important than ever before.”

David Eisenhower is a pre-eminent scholar of the American political system and the institution of the presidency. He has served on the Eisenhower Fellowships board since 1986. A professor at the University of Pennsylvania, David frequently meets with Eisenhower Fellows to share his insights on the U.S. presidency and memories of his grandfather.

Susan Eisenhower, is an accomplished author and expert in national security, with extensive hands-on experience in the former Soviet Union and deep expertise in nuclear proliferation, the militarization of space and more recently, international and national energy policy. An Eisenhower Fellowships Trustee for the last 30 years, Susan frequently hosts Fellows at her office in Washington, D.C.

Preceeding the Awards dinner, Eisenhower Fellowships’s Annual Meeting will be held this year at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia, where the organization marks the completion of its spring Global Program, which brings some 25 ascendant leaders from around the world to the United States for individualized seven-week fellowships.

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