Dr. Gary Sick graduated from the College in 1957 with a bachelor's in French literature. While at KU, Sick was a member of the debate team, a Summerfield Scholar and also a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduating, Sick served in the Navy. During his service, Sick completed a master's degree at George Washington University and later a doctorate (with distinction) at Columbia University. He served as an Assistant Naval Attache in Egypt; at the Naval War College and as a Country Director for the Persian Gulf at the Defense Department. For six years, he served on the staff of the National Security Council, where he was the principal White House staff member dealing with Iranian affairs during the Iranian revolution and hostage crisis.
Since retiring from the Navy in 1981, Sick has served in a variety of academic positions, most recently as Executive Director of Gulf/2000, an international research project on political, economic and security developments in the Persian Gulf. In addition, Sick is a Senior Research Scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He also acts as an independent author and consultant.