Standby Tickets Available for Leon Panetta 2014 Lecture Series Featuring Barney Frank and Alan Simpson

Standby tickets are available for the remaining three events in the Leon Panetta 2014 Lecture Series, including the forum scheduled for April 28 featuring former United States Representative Barney Frank, co-author of the Dodd-Frank Banking Reform Act, and former United States Senator Alan Simpson, co-chair of the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Barney Frank

Barney Frank

Now in its seventeenth year, the series features Secretary Leon E. Panetta as moderator with this year’s lineup of nationally known speakers focusing on the theme, “Learning the Lessons of History: Is the Past Prologue to the Future?” Panelists are reflecting on the past 100 years of history and considering what we have learned and how these lessons should be applied to the future.

The specific topic of the April 28 lecture with former United States Representative Frank, former United States Senator Simpson and Secretary Panetta is the “Role of Government — Depressions, Wars, Equality and Poverty” and will again be presented at 7:00 p.m. before a live theater audience at the Monterey Conference Center. 

alan simpson

Alan Simpson

The season began on March 10 and continues on April 28, May 12 and June 2. This year’s program features advisors from four presidential administrations, foreign policy leaders, economic leaders and key experts on national security.

“2014 marks 100 years since the beginning of World War I, known as the ‘war to end all wars’,” said Secretary Panetta. “Now, a century later, the world is again beset by revolutions, international disputes and territorial uprisings. What have we learned in dealing with war and peace, economic disparity and the balance between protecting our security and protecting our freedoms?”
Among the speakers at upcoming lectures are David Axelrod, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama; Andy Card, former chief of staff to President George W. Bush; Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and Ken Duberstein, former chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan.
Also scheduled to appear are Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI; and Mike Morell, former acting director of the CIA and former deputy director of the CIA. For a complete schedule, click here.
In addition to the evening programs, Secretary Panetta and the distinguished speakers also meet with students from Central Coast, Santa Clara Valley and North Bay Area high schools, community colleges, universities and military institutions as part of the Lecture Series Student ProgramThanks to the Leon Panetta Lecture Series sponsors, more than 700 students participated in the program last year.
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.

Nominees for Prestigious Panetta Internship Program Arrive for Interviews

Prospective participants in the sixteenth annual Congressional Internship Program arrived at the Panetta Institute during the week of March 24 for interviews with Panetta Institute staff and a representative of the California State University system’s Chancellor’s Office for the opportunity of becoming one of a select few to serve for eleven weeks in the Washington congressional offices of the California delegation. 

Secretary Panetta with the 2013 Congressional interns

Secretary Panetta with the 2013 Congressional interns

Before arriving for their interviews, interns are nominated by the presidents of twenty three CSU campuses, as well as Dominican University of California, Santa Clara University and Saint Mary’s College of California. 

Once accepted to the program, interns start their studies with an intensive two-week preparation at the Panetta Institute in August. “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.

Interns then travel to Washington, where they work full-time in their assigned congressional offices. 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.

Interns also attend weekly seminars held exclusively for them by the Institute. These seminars are led by Republican and Democratic members of Congress, top government officials and experts in a variety of fields, from the federal budget to healthcare and from immigration to foreign policy.

Capitol Hill has taken notice of the program. Enrique Gutierrez, intern coordinator for Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert) said: “The Panetta Institute has perhaps the best program in preparing young interns to help congressional offices and members. They come prepared to work by knowing the political/policy landscape and knowing the Hill environment. We would welcome more Panetta interns for future service.”

Students in the program agree that the scope of the classes and the internships themselves were a turning point in their lives. “Working in Washington exposed me to a whole new tier of sophistication amongst other interns and the people in Washington,” said one 2013 intern, Edgar Lopez of CSU San Bernardino. “The speakers at the seminars were amazing and gave very practical knowledge from their respective positions. I feel like I am fully equipped to take on anything in my future career after this experience. I wish more students could have this opportunity because it has been so vital to my education that I don’t see myself the same without it. I thank everyone at the Panetta Institute for being so supportive and believing in us every step of the way. Secretary and Mrs. Panetta have inspired me so much to continue in public service and to always be true to who I am.”

“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.”

Leon Panetta Honored With Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Policy

Secretary Leon E. Panetta has been named as the recipient of the Peter Benchley Ocean Award for excellence in policy by the non-profit Blue Frontier Campaign. Secretary Panetta will receive the honor at the group’s seventh annual awards dinner, May 30, at the California Academy of Arts in San Francisco.

Named for the author of Jaws, the award celebrates the legacy of the late Mr. Benchley, who dedicated much of his life to the protection of sharks and their ocean ecosystems. The honor, presented by the Blue Frontier Campaign and marine conservationist Wendy Benchley, widow of Mr. Benchley, celebrates exceptional efforts leading to the protection of our oceans, coasts, and the communities that depend on them.

Secretary Panetta has spent much of his public service career promoting policies to protect the ocean environment. As a congressman, his commitment to protecting the waters off California led directly to the establishment of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. He was also co-chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, a bipartisan, collaborative group in the United States established to guarantee meaningful ocean policy reform resulting in a healthier ocean environment.

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.

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.

American Association of University Women Hosts Panetta Institute at Regional Meeting

The many programs of the Panetta Institute were center stage on February 22 when the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Monterey Bay Inter-Branch Council sponsored a talk by two Panetta Institute staff, Dr. Richard Kezirian, professor and senior program coordinator, and Ellen Wilson, program coordinator and archivist.

Speaking in Watsonville, Dr. Kezirian and Ms. Wilson spoke of the multi-faceted approach by the Institute to encourage young people to engage in civic discourse and to become involved in their communities. Ms. Wilson invited AAUW members to get involved in the many Institute programs, including the award-winning Monterey County Reads, in which first- second- and third-graders who struggle in their reading skills receive valuable help from adult volunteers. “We are always interested in forming partnerships and youth education is a good place to start,” she said.

Dr. Kezirian spoke of the Institute’s mission of attracting young people to a life of public service. As a historian, Dr. Kezirian said he sees similarities between Institute founders Leon and Sylvia Panetta and President Teddy Roosevelt, who witnessed the extensive corruption of the Gilded Age in American history and urged that good people must go into politics. Politics, Roosevelt believed, was a noble profession, and he inspired his generation by his example.

Dr. Kezirian also quoted Plato, “What is honored in a country will be celebrated there,” and, Dr. Kezirian added, “We don’t honor politics or appreciate the art of achieving consensus as we should in this country. Will Rogers could have been speaking today when he said: ‘People are taking comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.’ At the Institute we are trying to change that.”

Institute Continues Work of Literacy Initiative by Issuing Call for More Community Volunteers 

Volunteers looking to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children are being sought for the 2014 fall semester for the Panetta Institute’s longest-running program, Monterey County Reads.

“The need is now — more than ever before,” said Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta. “The mark of a successful program is that we continue to increase our volunteer numbers.”

Now in its seventeenth year, the acclaimed program has grown in its role of serving Monterey County schools. Mary Alicia McRae, a literacy specialist who helps coordinate the program, described how the work of volunteers is at the core of the program. “By donating just a little time each week, a volunteer can have the satisfaction of making an immediate and meaningful difference in a child’s life. Just by taking the time to read with a child before he or she falls too far behind, a volunteer’s work translates into success for that child.”

Volunteers are sponsored by a wide variety of business service clubs, educational institutions, religious organizations, military installations and other community groups that form the backbone of the program. Community groups or businesses interested in sponsoring more volunteers are urged to contact the Panetta Institute. Volunteers must be sponsored by a recognized community organization or business. 

“Our data show that we are having a positive impact on the children who need help the most,” says Chris Haubert, chief of staff and programs. “That’s why Monterey County Reads continues to expand and it’s also why we need more volunteers.”

“It is well known that pupils who do not gain strong reading skills in the early elementary grades are more likely to be struggling learners in later years,” says Panetta Institute Board Member Rhonda Williams. “The evidence is overwhelming that children who engage in adult-child storybook interactions from a young age are more likely to have later reading success. This program is essential. It is saving lives.”

In addition to the impact volunteers have on the program, the Institute has added additional staffing resources, including Ms. McRae, the literacy specialist, to organize and conduct orientations with school site teams as well as to perform student assessments. “Putting orientations and assessments in the hands of a skilled literacy specialist ensures more effective and accurate data to study upon the students’ completion of the program,” Mrs. Panetta.

Working with the Monterey County Office of Education, Monterey County teachers and school personnel, the Institute trains and places community volunteers in elementary schools 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. In addition, the Institute, the County Office of Education and the Naval Postgraduate School collect and analyze data surrounding children’s progress to ensure a high quality program outcome.

Click here to learn more about this program and how you can help, or call the Institute at 831-582-4200.

Leon Panetta Pays Tribute to Maria Torres-Gil at Dedication of Affordable Housing Complex and Community Center

Community CenterSecretary Leon E. Panetta was the featured speaker at the late January dedication of 2 Haciendas Place, a forty-six-unit, multi-family affordable housing development and community center in Salinas.

The community center is named after Maria J. Torres-Gil, a founding member of the Monterey County Housing Advisory Committee, who raised her nine children in one of the old Haciendas units on the site of the new development.

Accompanying Mrs. Torres-Gil at the event was her son, Dr. Fernando Torres-Gil, a professor of social welfare and public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and an annual lecturer for the Institute’s Congressional Internship Program.

Secretary Panetta with Fernando Torres-Gil

Secretary Panetta with Fernando Torres-Gil

The second of a multi-phase project, 2 Haciendas Place is located on a two and one-half acre site on Sherwood Drive in Salinas, and is newly constructed, with energy-efficient units that are affordable to families earning up to sixty percent of the area median income.

Previous to Secretary Panetta’s attendance at the dedication, Panetta Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta spoke at the groundbreaking in early 2012. At that event Mrs. Panetta remarked on the importance of home and what it means to families. She said the naming of the community center after Mrs. Torres-Gil was appropriate — not only because she raised her family nearby, but because Ms. Torres-Gil  has achieved so much for those in need of secure and safe housing. Mrs. Panetta said that she recognizes from her own experiences the need for community. 

Once all phases of Haciendas construction are complete, there will be a total of 160 units, a community center, a picnic area, two children’s play areas, a computer lab, property management offices, an on-site manager’s office and laundry rooms.

This $18 million-plus project was developed by the Monterey County Housing Authority Development Corporation and is funded through a variety of local and federal programs.

In addition to Secretary Panetta, speakers at the grand opening included Joe Gunter, Salinas mayor; Eduardo Ochoa, president of California State University, Monterey Bay; Gloria De La Rosa, Salinas city councilwoman; Tom Espinoza, vice chairman, HDC board of directors and Starla Warren, president and CEO of Monterey County Housing Authority Development Corporation.

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.

Leon Panetta to Receive Top Honor From the Intelligence and National Security Alliance

Secretary Leon Panetta will be 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 in June.

Secretary Panetta will be 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 will be 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 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. 

Santa Clara School of Law Alumnus Provides Generous Stipends to Panetta Institute Research Fellows

A benefactor and alumnus of Santa Clara University School of Law has come forward to offer $2,100 stipends to law students who are selected for the Panetta Institute’s Policy Research Fellows Program.

“This generous donation truly makes a difference for those law students in our program,” said Institute Chairman Secretary Leon E. Panetta, himself a graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law. “Those selected for the program face travel costs in commuting from Santa Clara to our Institute here on the Monterey Peninsula. The stipend can make participating in the Fellows program possible for more students.” 

The donation was made through the generosity of Omar Habbas, a Santa Clara School of Law supporter. 

The Policy Research Fellows Program is a special research and study program that allows highly qualified second and third year law students from Santa Clara University School of Law and Monterey College of Law to serve at the Institute as research fellows. Last semester’s program began at the Panetta Institute January 31 and continued through April 18. The program offers firsthand experience and instruction in policy research, and analysis on issues relevant to the Institute’s work and mission, particularly in the topic areas of the national budget, bipartisanship, civic engagement and public service.

The semester-long program is under the direction of Panetta Institute staff and attorneys. In addition to research, special sessions are held with highly qualified policy speakers. For the spring semester, the program will feature research in support of the Leon Panetta Lecture Series and assisting in the creation of academic materials on each lecture’s topic for use in the Lecture Series Afternoon Student Program.

Following completion of the program, fellows receive academic credit for their work. Directing and teaching are Ellen Wilson, program coordinator and archivist, Dr. Richard Kezirian, the Institute’s professor and senior program coordinator, as well as local attorney Bill Daniels.

The Policy Research Fellows Program started in 2006, and since then, fifty-two students have completed their semester of service, receiving academic credit from their host schools. Participants are nominated by the dean of Santa Clara University School of Law or the Monterey College of Law, and once selected, work on site at the Panetta Institute. 

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 CSU system and three private universities will return for its fifteenth session in June. This diverse statewide group of student leaders will spend eight days at the Panetta Institute for a comprehensive program on leadership from experts in a variety of fields. An impressive list of leaders will share their experiences and their strategies for success with participants in the program. Speakers in the past included noted authorities in politics, government, business, education, media and competitive sports.

“In light of ongoing political gridlock in our national political system, our goal for this year’s program is to focus on methods and strategies to achieve ethical compromise,” said Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia M. Panetta. “In today’s political climate, it is crucial to encourage skills like compromise and working toward common goals for our leaders of tomorrow.”

Herm Edwards

Herm Edwards
2013 Leadership speaker

Participants in the seminar, entitled Education for Leadership in Public Service, meet in direct interaction with the panel of leaders especially selected for the program by the Panetta Institute. Workshops include 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.

Past speakers have included Bruce McPherson, Santa Cruz County supervisor and a former California secretary of state; Maj. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, Commanding General First Marine Division;  John Laird, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary; and Herm Edwards, former NFL coach and ESPN analyst. 

The leadership class also hears from and meets with Panetta Institute founder Secretary Leon E. Panetta as part of the program. Secretary Panetta speaks 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. Since then, the program has been hosted annually at the Panetta Institute. Program costs are paid by the Institute, the affiliated universities or student body associations and the CSU Chancellor’s Office. Participating students receive four academic credits for their enrollment and successful completion of this unique program.

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.” 

Bob Schieffer, Senators Mikulski and Chambliss Honored at Jefferson-Lincoln Awards Gala

Longtime CBS newscaster Bob Schieffer and United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Saxby Chambliss were honored at the fourteenth annual Jefferson-Lincoln Awards, the Panetta Institute’s annual black-tie celebration at the beautiful Inn at Spanish Bay at Pebble Beach on Saturday, November 9, 2013. 

Bob Schieffer

Bob Schieffer

Speaking before the sold-out gala dinner, Panetta Institute Chairman and Co-Founder Secretary Leon E. Panetta said: “Tonight we pay worthy tribute to three individuals who serve as examples to their colleagues and to each of us. Their good work helps promote and protect the fundamental principles that our forefathers built into our Constitution — freedom, justice and equality.” 

Mr. Schieffer has been with CBS News since 1969, serving as interim news anchor, chief Washington correspondent and, since 1991, as moderator of the Sunday public affairs show Face the Nation

Barbara Mikulski

Barbara Mikulski

Senator Mikulski has served in the Senate since 1986. For the previous ten years she had been in the House of Representatives; last year she became the longest serving woman in the history of the United States Congress. She chairs the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science. 

Saxby Chambliss

Saxby Chambliss

Senator Chambliss has served two terms in the Senate, and previously eight years in the House of Representatives. Long noted for his interest in bipartisan leadership, he recently told the website Politico: “I’ll never compromise my principles, but I’m certainly willing to work with folks on the other side of the aisle to fix the problems of the country.”The Jefferson-Lincoln Awards is an annual event that serves as the Panetta Institute’s major fundraiser with monies raised going to support the Institute’s mission to inspire men and women to lives of public service and its related programs. For more information, contact the Institute at 831-582-4200.

Secretary Panetta’s Career Documented in Exhibit

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy is now home to a dramatic display of photographs, documents and other artifacts relating to Panetta Institute co-founder Leon E. Panetta and his service in the Obama administration as head of the Central Intelligence Agency and as Secretary of Defense. 

IMG_6465The collection includes images of Secretary Panetta with leaders from around the world, as well as awards and honors connected to his many achievements in the pursuit of peace and security for the United States and its allies.

Secretary Panetta’s role in the Obama administration is well documented, with a variety of candid and ceremonial pictures, as well as a hand-written note from the president offering congratulations for his service at the CIA.

Also on display is a three-foot long sword with a gold inlaid handle, presented to Secretary Panetta by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Greece’s Minister of Defense. Nearby is a three-foot long gavel, presented by the men and women of the CIA General Counsel’s Office.

On the lighter side are pictures of Secretary Panetta’s prized golden retriever, Bravo, and a signed photo of the Secretary at a pickup basketball game at the CIA, with the hand-written sentiment: “This year the agency – Next year the Final Four.” 

These recent photographs and artifacts are additions to the Leon E. Panetta Archive, which documents Secretary Panetta’s fifty-year career in public service.

Contact Us

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy
100 Campus Center, Building 86E
California State University, Monterey Bay
Seaside, California 93955

Phone 831-582-4200
Fax 831-582-4082

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