KU News Release

July 10, 2012
Contact: Melanie Coen, Dole Institute of Politics, 785-864-1422

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to speak at Dole Institute

Donald Rumsfeld

More Information

LAWRENCE — Donald Rumsfeld, two-time secretary of defense, will speak at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas this month. Rumsfeld will be featured in a Dole Forum event scheduled at 4 p.m. July 26. This event is free, open to the public and contains a book sale and signing.

“Few people have had the opportunity to work as a cabinet member under three different White House administrations,” said Bill Lacy, director of the Dole Institute. “We look forward to hearing first-hand accounts of the secretary’s extensive career during some of the most pivotal moments in U.S. history.”

Rumsfeld served as the 13th secretary of defense, 1975-1977, under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st secretary of defense, 2001-2006, under President George W. Bush. Additionally, Rumsfeld was a four-term congressman from Illinois, 1962-1969, director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, 1969-1970, counselor to the President,1969-1973, the U.S. permanent representative to NATO, 1973–1974, and White House chief of staff, 1974-1975.

Rumsfeld may be best-known for his time as secretary of defense under President George W. Bush during and after the attacks by al-Qaida on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. Within hours of the first hijacking and subsequent plane crashes into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, Rumsfeld raised the U.S. defense system and offensive readiness to DEFCON 3, which was the highest it had been since 1973. Launching a “War on Terror,” President Bush and Rumsfeld went about the task of finding those behind the 9/11 terror attacks. This search grew into compounded, full-scale wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Rumsfeld resigned from this position in 2006. Since that time, he has written a memoir, established an educational foundation and served as a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Rumsfeld was born in Evanston, Ill., and grew up in nearby Winnetka. He was highly involved in the Boy Scouts of America and sports. He attended Princeton University on academic and Naval ROTC partial scholarships, where he was a member of the football and wrestling teams and earned a degree in political science. After serving three years in the Navy, Rumsfeld ran for, and won, a congressional seat in the 13th District of Illinois. During his time in Congress, he was a lead proponent of the Freedom of Information Act. He was a cabinet member for president Nixon, Ford and George W. Bush. Between his appointments with Ford and Bush, Rumsfeld ran three major science and pharmaceutical companies. Rumsfeld and his wife of 58 years have three children and six grandchildren.

Rumsfeld will be available for a limited, 30-minute book signing following the close of the program. In the interest of time, there will be a two-signature maximum per person for the book signing. Both hardback and paperback copies of his book will be available for sale.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

kunews@ku.edu | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

KU Today

Subscribe to our daily newsletter covering research, academics, media coverage, campus news, events & more. Subscribe




The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).