Andrew S. Gilmour '75

Andrew Gilmour is a senior visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at the Catholic University of America.  He previously served as a senior intelligence expert on the Near East, South Asia, and Islam over a 32-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency in a range of positions including Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, Deputy Chief of CIA’s Middle East Task Force, and Deputy Chief of Station for Analysis in a war zone.

Mr. Gilmour was the principal drafter of three National Intelligence Estimates and an interdisciplinary study on the future of the all-source analytic mission.  He is the recipient of the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal (2017), the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award (2015), and the National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal (2015).  His languages include Persian, French, and ancient Greek.  He holds degrees from Harvard and Johns Hopkins University.  His most recent publication is A Middle East Primed for New Thinking: Insights and Policy Options from the Ancient World.

When asked about St. Bernard’s Mr. Gilmour shared the following:

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a summons to headmaster R.I.W. Westgate's office had less the effect of a subpoena and more of a deus ex machina descending on the stage of one's still very young life.  And so it was when a handwritten note was delivered to Miss Townsend, my third grade teacher, requesting my immediate presence in our august headmaster's office.  I remember to this day an indescribable sense of relief when Mr. Westgate smiled at me and asked if I would kindly turn the pages on his music stand while he practiced cello.  This is one of my favorite memories at St. Bernard’s.

Learning was always underway at St. Bernard's.  I remember the thrill when our librarian, Mrs. Urquhart, would open the doors to the annual book fair and an intense moment of pure intellectual discovery and ensuing thirsts for new learning would take hold.  Likewise, David King-Wood would inscribe each morning on our eighth grade blackboard a note on "this day in history" that led to the most curious facts we might not ever have learned, such as the establishment of the income tax in the United States in 1913.  Contemporary events of global import would not scare away our teachers; Mr. Austin explained to our seventh grade class in 1973 that the United States had elevated the posture of its nuclear forces.  The Apollo lunar program also came alive when St. Bernard's snagged Col. Frank Borman of Apollo 8 to speak to us--what excitement and learning!

The privilege of working in our woodworking/carpentry class was probably my favorite class because it was so far from everything else we did.  It taught patience!

It was hard not to admire all of our teachers who were so well educated and so dedicated to our intellectual and personal growth.  Perhaps, Mrs. Long in fourth grade stood out as an example of how parsimonious speech and gentle manner could command as much authority as the more witty and extroverted members of the faculty.

The self-discipline and love of learning taught at St. Bernard's are perhaps the most lasting treasures you will take with you.  Do make use of them throughout your life.