Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates will serve on the Starbucks board's nominating and corporate governance committee.

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Starbucks has named former Defense Secretary Robert Gates as a board member.

The coffee chain said Wednesday that Gates will serve on its nominating and corporate governance committee.

Gates served as Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011, under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He retired from that position in June 2011. Gates now serves as chancellor at his alma mater, the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

Non-employee directors at Starbucks can earn up to $240,000 in compensation in 2012, including up to $120,000 in cash, plus stock options and restricted stock units, according to a regulatory filing. Annual stock option grants vest one year after the date of grant, and stop vesting when the individual leaves the board.

Last week Starbucks, which is based in Seattle, reported that its fiscal second-quarter profit rose 18 percent as more customers visited its cafes in most parts of the world.