Panetta Institute to Honor United States Senator Ron Wyden, Representative Mike Rogers and CNN Correspondent Barbara Starr at Annual Jefferson-Lincoln Awards November 8

The fifteenth annual Jefferson-Lincoln Awards: An Evening to Honor Lives of Public Service will be held November 8, 2014  at The Inn at Spanish Bay at Pebble Beach. This year’s honorees will be United States Senator Ron Wyden, United States Representative Mike Rogers and Pentagon Correspondent for CNN Barbara Starr.

The annual event honors policy makers and journalists whose work best exemplifies dedicated effort on behalf of the public good. The event is the Institute’s major fundraiser for the year, with monies raised going to support the Institute’s mission to inspire men and women to lives of public service. Individual seats are available for $600. Sponsor tables with special recognition for the sponsor are $12,000.

Senator Wyden (D-Oregon) is chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Finance and ranking Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Senator Wyden has been described by The Wall Street Journal as a “workhorse, a doer.” He has the reputation for hearing all sides of an issue and looking for common sense, bipartisan solutions to our nation’s problems, as exemplified by his assembling of coalitions from both parties on issues such as healthcare, infrastructure and tax reform.

United States Representative Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) is a highly respected leader on national security policy and serves as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. In the 112th Congress, he authored three bipartisan intelligence authorization bills that were signed into law. As a member of the powerful Energy and Commerce panel, he has been a leader in efforts to adopt an energy policy to end America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Barbara Starr’s exemplary journalism has long been recognized in her position as Pentagon correspondent for CNN. Ms. Starr has been embedded with United States troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa. She has also reported directly from Russia, the Persian Gulf, Central America and the Chinese-North Korean border. Her career has been marked by an independence of judgment, depth of investigative reporting, and spoken and written eloquence as she covers our nation’s men and women in uniform.

Jefferson-Lincoln honorees are selected by a special committee consisting of former United States Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker, former United States Representative Lee Hamilton, Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Panetta Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta.

For more information on sponsor tables, call the Panetta Institute at 831-582-4200.

Secretary Panetta Gives Keynote Address as Monterey County Reads Volunteers and Participating Schools Are Honored

Leon E. Panetta

Leon E. Panetta

A special celebration was held Friday, September 12 in recognition of 180 Monterey County Reads volunteers for their dedication in helping children achieve grade level literacy skills. These volunteers were honored alongside the forty elementary schools who welcome them into their classrooms and whose teachers and administrators help make the program possible.

This Volunteer and School Recognition Ceremony, held at the Monterey Peninsula College Marina Education Center, was in honor of volunteers’ dedication and outstanding work in helping local elementary school children improve their reading skills. They received certificates of recognition along with special pins. Participating schools also received a certificate honoring their important participation and support.

Providing the keynote address was Secretary Leon E. Panetta, chairman of the Panetta Institute and former Secretary of Defense. The ceremony also featured remarks from volunteers, teachers and school superintendents.

“America is at a crossroads,” noted Secretary Panetta. “We can either become a country in renaissance, or we can become a country in decline. If our nation and our democracy are going to thrive it is essential that we give our children the vital skill of literacy. The volunteer and schools recognized at this event are helping secure the success of our nation for this and future generations.”

Now in its eighteenth year, Monterey County Reads volunteers continue to work with children throughout Monterey County.  These volunteers include parents, business owners, members of religious and service organizations as well as high school, college, university and military students, to name some. Volunteers receive training from literacy specialists, followed by on-site orientations before beginning regular one-to-one reading sessions with specially selected children in the early elementary grades. Since the program’s inception, more than 2,800 volunteers have read with 14,000 children for nearly 112,000 hours.

In April 2013, Monterey County Reads, along with the Leon Panetta Lecture Series student program, was selected to receive the Excellence in Education Award by the Monterey County School Boards Association. The program was recognized by the association to have a significant, transformative impact on students’ education and/or well being, and exceeding expectations in pursuit of addressing unmet student needs.

Monterey County Reads is a tremendous example of the power of partnerships to improve our communities and protect the well being of our children,” explained Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia M. Panetta. “This program brings together members of the community from diverse backgrounds with schools and struggling young readers in order to give our youth the gift of literacy. We salute their commitment and hard work and recognize their service and accomplishment.”

At the conclusion of each semester, participating children receive a new storybook recognizing their efforts. Since 1997, Monterey County Reads has distributed more than 12,000 storybooks and to the children participating in the program. Nine hundred books were distributed in the 2013-2014 school year alone.

The Volunteer and School Recognition Ceremony is sponsored by the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, the Monterey County Office of Education and the Monterey County Reading Association.

For more information, please call the Panetta Institute for Public Policy at 831-582-4200.

In Memoriam: Bob Antle, Panetta Institute Vice Chair

AntleBob Antle, vice chair of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy Board of Directors, died on Sunday, August 3, with his family at his side. He was 78.

“Bob was a lifelong friend and supporter of the Panetta Institute,” said Chairman Leon E. Panetta. “He was a great force for good in agriculture and in the community. The success of the Panetta Institute is in large measure due to his leadership, loyalty and generosity.”

“Bob Antle was a key member of our board for so many years,” said Panetta Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta. “As a board member and chair of the nominating committee he gave us hour upon hour of his time, contributing his expertise in helping us to meet our goal of encouraging and preparing young people to enter into public service.”

More than 1,000 members of the community paid tribute to Mr. Antle at a memorial service on August 10 at the World Theater at California State University, Monterey Bay.

Secretary Panetta spoke about Mr. Antle in a deeply personal tribute at his memorial service by saying: “Bob had the compassion of a Democrat, the business sense of a Republican and the heart of a patriot.” He added: “He had big arms, a big smile and a big heart used to embrace life itself — his family, his community and his fellow human beings.” For the complete text of his remarks, click here.

Mr. Antle was co-chair of Tanimura & Antle, the Salinas-based grower and shipper company and was well known for his philanthropy in the Monterey Bay area.

A native of Watsonville, Mr. Antle graduated from Stanford University and shortly thereafter began working in his family’s lettuce business with his father, Bud, and his grandfather, Lester, in 1949. In 1966, he moved to the East Coast to establish the House of Bud, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler.

After the death of his father in 1972, Mr. Antle became chief executive officer of the Bud Antle companies. Six years later, those companies merged with Castle & Cooke, now Dole Food Co.

In 1982, Mr. Antle and his sons, Mike and Rick, formed Tanimura & Antle with George Tanimura and other Tanimura family members. The partnership joined the Antles’ packing and shipping expertise with the Tanimuras’ growing experience.

Mr. Antle was the recent recipient of the Grower-Shipper Association’s E.E. (Gene) Harden Award for “lifetime achievement in Central Coast agriculture.” This honor was given for his lasting and significant contributions to agriculture as well as his extensive and longtime generosity to many philanthropic and educational institutions and endeavors throughout the Monterey County community.

In 2009, Mr. Antle was awarded the Ben Heller Award by the Center for Community Advocacy for his courage and leadership in supporting farm workers.  In 2013, the Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council of the Boy Scouts honored him with The Growing of Future Leaders Award.

Mr. Antle was also president of Southern Arizona Ranch Co. LLC,; president of Pinnacalitos Chalone LP; past president of the President’s Council at California State University, Monterey Bay; and founding president of Central Coast Water Quality Preservation, Inc. He also actively supported the University of Arizona. In March 2005, he was appointed to the California State Senate Commission of Agricultural Worker Housing & Health. He was a recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from California State University, Monterey Bay, and the Community Foundation for Monterey County honored both Mr. Antle and his wife, Sue, with the 2010 Distinguished Trustee Award.

Mr. Antle is credited with several industry innovations, including the introduction of field-wrapped fresh vegetables in 1960; the development of distribution centers for wrapped lettuce and other source-packaged fruits and vegetables in 1965; and the production of crop transplants in 1970.

Mr. Antle is survived by his wife, Sue; two sons, Rick and Mike; two daughters, Kathy Della-Rose and Karen Hebl; a brother, Kenneth; and 21 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Services were August 11 at the World Theater, California State University, Monterey Bay. Contributions are preferred to the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, 100 Campus Center, Building 86E, CSUMB, Seaside, California, 93955; the Bob Antle Scholarship Fund, c/o CSUMB 100 Campus Center, Seaside, California, 93955 or The Salvation Army of Monterey, 1491 Contra Costa Street, Seaside, California, 93955.

Sylvia Panetta Honored by the American Association of University Women

Sylvia Panetta receives a commerative booklet from . Kaz Matsuyama of the JACL, Sharyn Siebert of AAUW, and Dennis Mar of LWV (standing);  Sylvia Panetta  and Mez Benton (seated).

Sylvia Panetta receives a commemorative booklet from  Kaz Matsuyama, Sharyn Siebert and Dennis Mar (standing, from left)  and Mez Benton (seated).

The Monterey chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) recently honored Panetta Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta for her role in establishing a scholarship in her name for deserving students at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC).

For twenty years, scholarships have been awarded to students preparing to continue their education at a four-year college or university. Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence, and funds are distributed when the students show proof of enrollment at their university.

The event to honor Mrs. Panetta took place at the Panetta Institute for Public Policy. Sharyn Siebert, co-president of the Monterey chapter of the AAUW, recalled how the scholarship came about: “In 1993, in honor of Mrs. Panetta’s lifetime commitment to education and her volunteerism in this area, the AAUW branch, the local chapter of League of Women Voters (LWV) and the County Commission on the Status of Women came together to establish a scholarship in her name at MPC.”

The scholarship was geared toward showing the diversity of Monterey County and it garnered support from the Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL), the Italian Heritage Society, the Filipino Community Organization and the NAACP. As part of the presentation, Mrs. Panetta was given a commemorative booklet featuring scores of letters from students who benefited from the scholarship. The book will be added to the Institute’s archive.

Attending the event were Kaz Matsuyama of the JACL, Sharyn Siebert of AAUW, Dennis Mar of LWV and Mez Benton, who is affiliated with both the LWV and AAUW.

Panetta Interns at Work in Congressional Offices; Educational Programs Continue

Participants in the sixteenth annual Congressional Internship Program, have arrived in Washington D.C. and begun their assignments in Congressional offices after two weeks of intensive training at the Panetta Institute.


“We are proud that our program has earned the reputation of being one of the finest internship programs in the nation,” says Secretary Leon E. Panetta.

To earn that reputation, the Institute prepares interns from twenty three CSU campuses, as well as Dominican University of California, Saint Mary’s College of California and Santa Clara University, by conducting extensive educational programs at the Institute, and then follows up with unique seminars in Washington that supplement their on-the-job internships.

QuaylrFormer Vice President Dan Quayle was among the many government and political leaders to speak with participants at the sixteenth annual Panetta Institute Congressional Internship Program, which got underway on August 10.

Secretary Panetta also briefed the interns while at the Institute, explaining how the United States has evolved over two centuries into its role as a global leader. “As we have found out over our history, if the United States does not provide leadership, no one else will.”

Secretary Panetta advised the interns on the importance of making decisions and being willing to take a risk — both in governance and in one’s personal life. “When you are afraid to make a decision or to take a risk,” he said, “that’s when you fail — and that’s when you fail to get things done.”

Interns are working full-time for eleven weeks in the Congressional offices of the California delegation, for members of both parties. Their daily tasks may range from answering constituent phone calls and opening mail to conducting tours of the Capitol and attending hearings to take notes.

“These are tomorrow’s leaders,” said Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia M. Panetta. “The program helps prepare them right now to find ways to contribute to the public good.”

2014 Student Leadership Program Continues its Focus on Ethics and Compromise

A celebrated program for student body presidents and other elected student body officers from the California State University system and three private universities concluded its fifteenth session at the Panetta Institute this June. The diverse group of student leaders spent eight days at the Institute for the comprehensive program on leadership from experts in a variety of fields. An impressive list of leaders shared their experiences and their strategies for success with participants in the program.

Entitled Education for Leadership in Public Service, the program features workshops on strategies for ethical compromise, putting leadership theory into practice, insiders’ tips on successful management and achieving goals, understanding modern media, and tips on policy-making.

“Today’s youth and their ability of engage in our democracy and give back to their communities will determine whether America experiences a new Renaissance or becomes a nation in decline,” explained Institute Chairman Secretary Leon E. Panetta. “The work of the Panetta Institute is to educate and inspire young men and women to lives of public service. This seminar provides a foundation for principled leadership that these motivated young people can take back to their campuses, share with their fellow students, and apply to their future participation in our democracy.”

This year’s program included a panel discussion on policymaking at the local level featuring leading Monterey Bay area city officials, including Mayor Jason Burnett of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Mayor Joe Gunter of Salinas and city councilwoman and former mayor Hilary Bryant of Santa Cruz.

Also participating in this year’s program were three commanding officers from the USS Milwaukee, a combat ship recently launched at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard in Wisconsin and christened by Panetta Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta earlier this year. The three officers coached students on building and leading a high-quality team.

Secretary Panetta spoke to the students about the key qualities of political leadership; how to put theoretical principles into practice and the lessons learned from his career in public service.

This special course was developed in 1999 by a blue-ribbon panel of public officials and academic leaders in response to the findings of the Institute’s national survey of college students, which showed alarmingly low levels of student interest in government and public service.

One student at the 2013 leadership program, Brianna Fennell of Dominican University, commented: “This week has expanded my knowledge, my speaking skills, my friendships and just changed me as a person. I will be forever grateful for this moment in my life.”

Leon Panetta 2014 Lecture Series Concludes with Special Two-Hour Event Featuring David Axelrod, Erskine Bowles, Andrew Card and Kenneth Duberstein

Kenneth Duberstein

Kenneth Duberstein

Andrew Card

Andrew Card

Erskine Bowles

Erskine Bowles

David Axelrod

David Axelrod

The final event in the Leon Panetta 2014 Lecture Series was held June 2 featuring David Axelrod, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama; Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton; Andrew Card, former chief of staff to President George W. Bush; and Kenneth Duberstein, former chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan.

Speaking to a sold out crowd, the four presidential advisors joined Institute Chairman and former Clinton administration Chief of Staff Leon E. Panetta at the Monterey Conference Center for a discussion on “How Presidents Make Decisions — Leadership, Crisis, Politics and Trust.”

“The last 100 years have seen seventeen presidents making important decisions from the White House,” said Institute Chairman Leon E. Panetta.  “What makes a president a strong leader, how does he deal with crisis and politics, and how does he maintain the trust of the people?  I posed  these questions to four of the top presidential advisors of the past thirty years.”

For a complete listing of the 2014 season click here.

Dr. Patrick Welton Named to Institute’s Board of Directors

UnknownDr. Patrick Welton of Carmel-by-the-Sea, the CEO of the internationally known Welton Investment Corporation, has been named to the Panetta Institute’s Board of Directors, Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta has announced.

Dr. Welton joins the thirteen-member board, which consists of local citizens who support the Institute’s mission as a nonpartisan study center advancing public policy and attracting thoughtful men and women to public service. Directors set policy and determine program direction. They also help in fundraising for Institute programs and projects.

“Dr. Welton will bring to the board a deep knowledge of financial issues, mixed with his commitment to furthering the education and development of young people as they prepare themselves for careers in both the public and private sectors,” said Mrs. Panetta.

Welton Investment Corporation is an alternative investment company serving  institutions, private banks and private investors around the world. As CEO, Dr. Welton oversees all internal departments at the corporation, with an emphasis on trading and risk management.

Dr. Welton attended the University of Wisconsin and received his doctoral degree in medicine and biophysics at UCLA. He did postdoctoral work at Stanford University in therapeutic radiology from 1987 until 1990. While still at Stanford, he founded Welton Investment Corporation with his wife, Annette Welton, in 1988.

Dr. Welton has served on committees for the Managed Fund Association and was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Futures Association from 1997 to 2000. He has spoken at numerous conventions both in the United States and internationally, and has authored articles in a variety of publications focusing on alternative investments.

Dr. Welton currently serves as a Trustee investment committee chair of the Community Hospital Foundation and its California pension fund.

Panetta Institute Survey Shows Students Increasingly Disenchanted With National Leaders; Turning Inward From World Yet Interested in Elective Office

A new national survey for the Panetta Institute for Public Policy shows United States college students turning away from international issues and entanglements and increasingly dissatisfied with the country’s political leadership, yet more inclined than in the past to consider running for public office themselves, particularly at the state or local level.

Only 39 percent of students in the survey say they are satisfied with America’s political leadership while 60 percent are dissatisfied – a major shift from five years ago, at the start of the Obama administration, when 73 percent said they were satisfied with the country’s political leadership and 25 percent were dissatisfied.

At the same time, student interest in some day holding a federal elective office climbed to 29 percent in this year’s survey, up from 25 percent in 2012, and to 38 percent for running for state or local office, up from 30 percent two years ago.

The findings come from a study the Panetta Institute has commissioned in the spring since 1999, looking at U.S. college students’ views and attitudes on subjects ranging from their political preferences to their personal economic prospects to interest in public service, along with a variety of domestic and international policy issues.

“Like most Americans, college students appear to have grown weary of United States involvement in foreign conflicts and are reluctant to commit further resources to solving other countries’ problems,” says Institute Chairman Leon Panetta. “While they’re more interested in getting through school and finding a job, it’s important that they care about solving problems here and abroad.”

For more on the latest Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s National Surveyclick here.

Secretary Panetta Speaks at Saint Mary’s Commencement

On Saturday, May 24, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gave the commencement address at Saint Mary’s College of California.  In his remarks the Secretary exhorted the graduates to summon the will to fight to protect American democracy. He said that fundamental change in our democracy will come from the bottom up, not the top down, and he encouraged students to become active participants.


“Your degree and your education is a license to action, not an excuse to sit back and do nothing,” he told the graduates.

“Leon Panetta is an extraordinary public servant and a true American statesman,” said Saint Mary’s President James Donahue. “Throughout his career he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the common good, and his leadership in our nation’s capital helped ensure the safety of the country and our military men and women.”

Secretary Panetta commented, “Saint Mary’s is a remarkable academic institution with a commitment to educating students dedicated to improving the lives of others in our society.  That educational approach is extremely important in this day and time.”

Secretary Panetta spoke in front of a large crowd of family and friends gathered at the football stadium to celebrate Saint Mary’s largest graduating class of more than 750 students.

Leon Panetta Receives Top Honor From the Intelligence and National Security Alliance

Secretary Leon Panetta was awarded the prestigious 2014 William Oliver Baker Award, the highest award to be presented by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA), at its annual dinner this June.

Secretary Panetta was recognized for his unwavering service to the United States and his dedication, commitment and support of our nation’s intelligence agencies and military.

INSA is a non-profit, non-partisan public/private intelligence and national security organization that provides a unique venue for collaboration, networking and examination of policy issues and solutions. Representing an alliance among senior leaders from the public, private and academic sectors, INSA members form a community of experts that collaborate to develop creative, innovative and timely solutions to the intelligence and national security issues facing the United States.

The William Oliver Baker Award is an annual award that recognizes individuals for:

  • Sustained excellence in their contribution to national security affairs over a considerable period of time, or a single achievement of extraordinary merit;
  • Contribution in the scientific and technical disciplines or in other fields essential to the enhancement of national security interests;
  • Technical enhancement of unusual significance, management proficiency of a high order, or development or application of techniques that permit cost savings of substantial magnitude.

The award is named after Dr. William Oliver Baker, a prominent scientist, former head of Bell Labs and a trusted advisor to five United States presidents, starting with President Eisenhower. A director and consultant to multiple philanthropic foundations and a mentor to many renowned scientists, Dr. Baker spent twenty-five years with Bell Labs. He and his team made significant advances in telecommunications including the laser, satellite systems, and the UNIX computer operating systems, which set the foundation for the robust technologies and platforms in use today.

The awards banquet, which was held in Washington, D.C., stands out as INSA’s premier event, with more than 600 attendees joining the INSA membership for the award presentation and speeches by the intelligence community’s leading authorities.

Secretary Panetta Speaks to California Forward

Secretary Leon E. Panetta, a founding co-chair of the public interest group California Forward, sat down recently to speak with the group’s co-chair, Lenny Mendonca, to examine people’s concerns about the role that money plays in the political process and in shaping public policy.

In the video, available here, Secretary Panetta raises the possibility of starting with voluntary limits on campaign spending, saying “I think there will be a tremendous amount of public support.”

In a second video, available here, Secretary Panetta tells Mr. Mendonca, “I believe the great strength of our country lies in young people, because they are the ones … that will determine the future of America.

California Forward is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to bring government closer to the people and move the state in the right direction — forward. The group’s goal is to empower local communities, which the organization believes are best equipped to solve their own problems.

Secretary Panetta Honored by the Sons of Italy Foundation

Secretary Leon Panetta was honored by the Sons of Italy Foundation at its 26th National Education and Leadership Awards on May 22 in Washington, D.C. The Foundation honored leaders in government, military justice and labor at the gala, held at The National Building Museum.

Also honored were former United States Senator Christopher Dodd, president of the Motion Picture Association of America; Lt. Gen. Flora Darpino, Judge Advocate General of the United States Army and Harry Lombardo, international president, Transport Workers Union. Actor Joe Mantegna was master of ceremonies and tenor Sean Harris performed.

Also in attendance as special guests were Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno, Italy’s ambassador to the United States Claudio Bisogniero, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and U.S. military personnel, both active and veteran.

The foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA), the biggest and oldest organization in the United States for people of Italian heritage. To date, the foundation has given $125 million to education, medical research, cultural preservation, disaster relief and other special projects.

Institute Professor Honored With Monterey Peninsula College Foundation President’s Award

Dr. Kezirian, left, with MPC President Dr.Walter Trimbley

Dr. Kezirian, left, with MPC President Dr.Walter Trimbley

Dr. Richard Kezirian, senior program coordinator and professor at the Panetta Institute, has been named as the honoree of the Monterey Peninsula College Foundation President’s Award for 2014.

He was recognized May 16 at the eighth annual President’s Address to the Community. Dr. Walter Tribley, superintendent/president of Monterey Peninsula College, presented a “State of the College” address highlighting the college’s successes and future plans at the event.

The program included the presentation of the President’s Award to Dr. Kezirian, in honor of his contributions to the community, as well as helping the college’s mission of providing educational opportunities to all. The event was held at the Monterey Conference Center.

At the Institute, Dr. Kezirian teaches and moderates Institute classes and conducts research for courses. As part of the Leon Panetta Lecture Series, Dr. Kezirian leads mid-week seminars for selected students and presents lectures during the afternoon student program for high school and university students. He also helps coordinate the Congressional Internship Program and Leadership Seminar and serves as moderator for classes in these programs as well as teaching some of the individual seminars.

Dr. Kezirian began his teaching career at MPC in 1971. He has also taught at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the Naval Postgraduate School. Now professor emeritus at Monterey Peninsula College, he is the author of American History: Major Controversies Reviewed, a textbook that has been used at numerous colleges and universities. He has also written op-ed articles for many California newspapers, including the Los Angeles TimesSan Diego UnionFresno Bee and Monterey County Herald.

He was the recipient of the 1986 Allen Griffin Award for Excellence in Teaching   awarded by the Community Foundation for Monterey County and a three-time winner of the Monterey Peninsula College Honor Society’s Teacher of the Year Award. Dr. Kezirian earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, all in the study of history, at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The Monterey Peninsula College Foundation President’s Award was established in 2007 and awarded at the first annual President’s Address to the Community. From 2007 until 2013, seven awards have been given to outstanding individuals who are committed to education and have worked to further the interests of the college and the communities served by Monterey Peninsula College.

The selection committee is made up of recipients of the President’s Award, the executive director of the Monterey Peninsula College Foundation, and the superintendent/president.

Young Monterey County Reads Volunteer Honored With Jefferson Award

Gabriel Howard, a Monterey High School senior whose service in the school’s Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) includes volunteering in the Panetta Institute’s Monterey County Reads program, has been honored with a Jefferson Award from television station KSBW for his work at Foothill Elementary School.

“The idea is service above self,” said Paul Tanks, NJROTC commander at Monterey High, “and Gabe epitomizes that.”

As a volunteer with Monterey County Reads, Mr. Howard volunteers by reading with students at Foothill Elementary School in Monterey. Most recently, he has assisted by reading to  three first-graders at the school. Through the Monterey County Reads Program the Institute trains and places community volunteers throughout Monterey County. Volunteers receive training from literacy  specialists, followed by on-site orientations, before beginning regular one-to-one reading sessions with specifically selected children in first through third grades.

“Gabe has been in the NJROTC for four years,” said Commander Tanks, “so I’ve watched him progress from a little kid no bigger than the kids he’s reading to all the way to a mature young adult.”

In addition to his volunteer work with Monterey County Reads, Mr. Howard serves at his church and in the Boy Scouts. He also is an assistant basketball coach at San Carlos School in Monterey. “I can’t even begin to name off all the organizations for which Gabe has volunteered,” said Commander Tanks.

The Jefferson Awards is a nationwide program which has 110 media partners in approximately 70 communities across the country. KSBW is among major local newspapers, television and radio stations that honor local volunteers.  Six volunteers including Mr. Howard in the Monterey Bay area were selected by KSBW for the honor in 2014.

Sylvia Panetta Serves as Ship Sponsor as she Christens the USS Milwaukee; Command and Crew Hosted by Institute in Monterey

USS Milwaukee is launched

USS Milwaukee is launched

Panetta Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta recently christened the USS Milwaukee at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard in Wisconsin, marking an important milestone for the United States Navy’s littoral combat ship (LCS) program.

Then, in March, eight crew members from the ship visited Mrs. Panetta and the Institute, first attending the Leon Panetta Lecture Series at the Monterey Conference Center and then visiting the Institute itself on the California State University, Monterey Bay campus.

Lecture Series moderator Secretary Leon E. Panetta introduced the command and crew to enthusiastic applause at the March 10 lecture. The next day, they met at the Institute for a luncheon, followed by a tour of the Institute with Secretary and Mrs. Panetta.

Three officers from the ship returned to the Panetta Institute in June for the annual Leadership Seminar, a program for student body office-holders from the twenty-three campuses of the California State University system and three private universities. The three speakers, CDR. Michael Brasseur, commanding officer, CDRs. David Adams and Ken Bridgewater, executive officers, coached students on building and leading a high-quality team.

Mrs. Panetta at the christening

Mrs. Panetta at the christening

“After our warm reception at the christening and launch of the USS Milwaukee,” said Mrs. Panetta, “It was a pleasure to host these fine young men and women here in Monterey. It is a true privilege to serve as the sponsor for the USS Milwaukee as it begins its journey of service and commitment to our powerful fleet,” she added. “I am proud to support the ship and its crew over the course of service as this vessel leads with strength and protects our freedom.”

The ship is expected to be delivered to the Navy in early 2015 following acceptance trials. At that time, Mrs. Panetta will participate in the ship’s formal commissioning ceremony, which will take place in Milwaukee.

Former Monterey City Manager Fred Meurer Joins Institute to Head Development of New Panetta Institute Center

Fred Meurer

Fred Meurer

Former Monterey City Manager Fred Meurer has joined the Panetta Institute to direct an initiative to create a new center for the Institute. Mr. Meurer will also guide the development program to help fund its construction.

The center is planned to be built on the campus of California State University, Monterey Bay.

In announcing the appointment, Institute Chairman Leon E. Panetta said, “Fred Meurer was part of the initial concept development and fund raising effort that created California State University, Monterey Bay after the closure of Fort Ord. I believe that Fred can help Sylvia and me take the Institute to an expanded role in public service and policy development for the community and the nation.”

Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta noted that she and Secretary Panetta recruited Mr. Meurer to join the Institute because of a long-standing working relationship.  “We have a very high level of trust and confidence in Fred’s technical, organizational and leadership abilities,” said Mrs. Panetta.  “In addition to the technical skills Fred possesses, he has been a guest instructor/presenter for classes at the Institute in strategic planning, leadership, municipal finance and public administration. His passion for public service, coupled with his curriculum and teaching experience, will be very helpful in developing a new center to respond to the future requirements of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy.”

Mr. Meurer recently retired from the City of Monterey after nearly twenty-eight years of service as the city’s public works director and city manager. While with the city, he was intimately involved with the planning and fund raising for the Monterey Sports Center and a later expansion of the Sports Center. He also managed the planning and execution of the construction of Window on the Bay Park, the Cannery Row garage, the recreation trail and a number of other projects in the city.

Prior to going to work for the City of Monterey, Mr. Meurer was the public works and housing director at Fort Ord.  During his time at Fort Ord, he was responsible for the planning, construction and operations of all of the facilities at Fort Ord, the Presidio of Monterey and Fort Hunter Liggett.

 “I am very excited to be returning to my roots at Fort Ord,” he said, “and to have the opportunity to be part of the Panetta Institute, working with Leon and Sylvia Panetta who understand leadership and share an exciting vision for the future.”

Mr. Meurer graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1966. He graduated from Stanford University with masters degrees in construction management and in water resource planning in 1971.

Center for a New American Security Establishes Fellowship in Secretary Panetta’s Name

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington, DC has created a fellowship program in the name of Secretary Leon E. Panetta, and has named Dr. Dafna Hochman Rand as its inaugural Panetta Fellow.

CNAS established one fellowship in honor of Secretary Panetta, as well as one in honor of Secretary Robert Gates. CNAS cited both former defense secretaries for their shared commitment to public service and bipartisan solutions to national security challenges.

The fellowships are awarded to highly qualified Democratic and Republican policy experts who demonstrate great potential, a commitment to service and the professionalism and integrity exemplified by Secretaries Panetta and Gates, said Michèle Flournoy, co-chair of the CNAS Board of Directors. “The Gates and Panetta fellowships not only honor the tremendous contributions to United States national security of two great public servants, they also give us an invaluable opportunity to invest in the next generation of national security leaders,” she added.

As the Panetta Fellow, Dr. Rand will also serve as a deputy director of studies at the center. She previously served in the International Economics Directorate on the National Security Council staff, where she focused on United States assistance efforts in support of global democratic transitions, good governance and the rule of law. She previously covered the Middle East and North Africa on the secretary of state’s policy planning staff and was a professional staff member on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University and has authored a book on the Arab Spring.

“I am pleased to congratulate Dr. Rand on becoming the first Panetta fellow at CNAS,” said Secretary Panetta. “CNAS strengthens our country by providing critical thought leadership on the issues affecting our national defense. Dr. Rand has strong legislative and executive branch experience and has deep expertise on the challenges we face as a nation.”

The first Gates fellow is Elbridge “Bridge” Colby, formerly a principle analyst and division lead for global strategic affairs at the The Center for Naval Analyses. He also served as an aide to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

CNAS is a nonprofit and nonpartisan center that researches strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies. Building on the expertise and experience of its staff and advisors, CNAS engages policymakers, experts and the public with innovative, fact-based research, ideas and analysis to shape and elevate the national security debate. It was established in February 2007 by co-founders Dr. Kurt M. Campbell and Michèle A. Flournoy.

“CNAS is proud to recognize the selfless national security contributions made by Secretaries Panetta and Gates by picking Dafna Rand and Bridge Colby to be the first of many Panetta and Gates fellows,” said CNAS Chief Executive Officer Robert O. Work. “Dafna and Bridge both epitomize the intelligence, drive and bipartisan spirit of the two former secretaries.”

Secretary Leon E. Panetta to be Honored With Distinguished William J. Donovan Award

11Secretary Leon E. Panetta is scheduled to receive one of the nation’s highest honors, the William J. Donovan Award, which will be presented in October at the annual dinner of The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Society in Washington, D.C.

The OSS Society celebrates the historical accomplishments of World War II’s OSS — the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency and United States Special Operations Forces — and educates the American public about the importance of strategic intelligence to our national security.

The William J. Donovan Award is named after the founder of the OSS, Major General William “Wild Bill” Donovan. General Donovan is the only American to have received our nation’s four highest awards, including the Medal of Honor. He served as an assistant United States Attorney General, the United States Attorney for the Western District of New York, a personal advisor to President Roosevelt before and during World War II, and an assistant to the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

The William J. Donovan Award is given each year to an individual who has rendered distinguished service in the interests of the democratic process, the cause of freedom and has exemplified General Donovan’s tradition of public service.

Secretary Panetta joins a list of notable national figures who are past recipients, including Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush; Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; and CIA Directors Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby, William Casey and William Webster; and Nobel Prize laureate and diplomat Ralph Bunche.

Secretary Leon E. Panetta Honored With Stanley Mosk Defender of Justice Award

Institute Chairman Secretary Leon E. Panetta was awarded the Stanley Mosk Defender of Justice Award by the Judicial Council of California in a recent ceremony in San Francisco. Secretary Panetta was one of six honorees to be awarded with the Council’s 2013 Distinguished Service Awards, the highest honors given by the council.

Secretary Panetta joins Judicial Council honorees.

Secretary Panetta joins Judicial Council honorees.

Now in its twentieth year, the awards program honors individuals from federal, state and local government for significant contributions to advancing equal access to fair and consistent justice in California.

Secretary Panetta was honored for his leadership and lifelong commitment to public service, and for sharing his experience and guidance with California court leaders working to modernize the judicial branch’s technology infrastructure to create greater access to fair and equal justice throughout the state.

A Judicial Council spokesperson praised Secretary Panetta’s guidance and counsel, and said his broad experience and deep knowledge of research, technology, and government is helping the California judicial branch leaders transition the court system to 21st century technology standards.

The Judicial Council also took note of Secretary Panetta’s lifetime commitment to public service that began more than forty years ago, and included serving in U.S. Army military intelligence, in Congress and ultimately as key advisors in the Clinton and Obama administrations as Budget Director, Chief of Staff, CIA Director and Secretary of Defense.

Secretary Panetta’s award is in honor of the late Stanley Mosk, the longest-serving justice on the California Supreme Court.

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