Limited Number of Standby Tickets Available for Leon Panetta 2014 Lecture Series
A limited number of standby tickets are available for the Leon Panetta 2014 Lecture Series, now in its seventeenth year and once again featuring Secretary Leon E. Panetta as moderator. This year’s lineup of nationally known speakers will focus on the question “Learning the Lessons of History: Is the Past Prologue to the Future?” Panelists at the four events will reflect on the past 100 years of history and consider what we have learned and how these lessons should be applied to the future.
The Lecture Series will begin on March 10 and continue on April 28, May 12 and June 2. The 2014 season will feature advisors from four presidential administrations, foreign policy officials, economic leaders and leading experts on national security.
“This year 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?”
These questions will be examined in four separate events before a live theater audience at the Monterey Conference Center. All events will start at 7:00 p.m.
Among the speakers 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 Barney Frank, former U.S. Representative from Massachusetts and the co-author of the Dodd-Frank Banking Reform Act; Alan Simpson, former Senator from Wyoming and former co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform; 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 Program. Thanks to the Leon Panetta Lecture Series sponsors, more than 700 students participated in the program last year.
Season tickets for the series are currently sold out. To purchase standby tickets for individual dates or obtain information about the Lecture Series Student Program, call the Institute at 831-582-4200.
Former Monterey City Manager Fred Meurer Joins Institute to Head Development of New Panetta Institute Center
Former Monterey City Manager Fred Meurer has joined the Panetta Institute as director of 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.
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 spring 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 need new volunteers.”
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.”
One volunteer reacted to his experience as a volunteer this way: “It’s exciting to watch a child have a new world open up to him just by simply reading a story,” said one volunteer. “It’s the most rewarding project I’ve ever been involved in.”
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 specially 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
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 on the site of the new development in one of the old Haciendas units.
Accompanying Ms. 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 a frequent lecturer in the Institute’s Congressional Internship Program.
The second of a multi-phase project, 2 Haciendas Place is located on a 2.46-acre site on Calle Cebu at 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 for 2 Haciendas Place in early 2012. At that event Mrs. Panetta spoke of the importance of home and what it means to families. She said the naming of the community center after Ms. 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 a sense of 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 Tom Espinoza, vice chairman, HDC board of directors; Joe Gunter, Salinas mayor; Eduardo Ochoa, president of California State University, Monterey Bay; Gloria De La Rosa, Salinas city councilwoman; and Starla Warren, president and CEO of Monterey County Housing Authority Development Corporation.
Secretary Leon E. Panetta to be Honored With Distinguished William J. Donovan Award
Secretary 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.
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.
Leon Panetta Speaks at Community Hospital Annual Meeting; Warns of Cyber-Security Challenges Facing the Nation
Secretary Leon E. Panetta told a sold-out luncheon meeting of the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation that international cyber attacks remain a significant threat to the United States.
In a wide-ranging keynote address on January 23, 2014 at the hospital’s annual event, Secretary Panetta alerted the nearly 800 people in attendance that cyber attacks are the “most dangerous potential threat” to the United States.
“This is a new frontier,” he said, warning that such a high-tech event would target a wide range of financial institutions, other businesses, the government and even basic infrastructure. He suggested better defending the country from cyber attacks through a government and private partnership and further investments in cutting-edge cyber technology.
Secretary Panetta also spoke of his frustration with partisan politics, the necessity of educational reforms and the need for further improvements in the health care system.
The luncheon also featured a report on the Foundation from Community Hospital President/CEO Steven Packer, MD.
Institute Reaches Out to Local Monterey Peninsula Unified School District NJROTC Program
Students in the Monterey High School Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) are learning valuable lessons in public service thanks to a growing relationship with the Panetta Institute and its outreach programs to the local community.
Under the leadership of Monterey High NJROTC Commander Paul Tanks, NJROTC students have started volunteering through the Monterey County Reads program that helps students strengthen the reading skills of first- through third-graders at schools throughout Monterey County. NJROTC cadets began serving at La Mesa Elementary School in November, and still more began at Foothill Elementary School in December.
The students will also be part of the Leon Panetta Lecture Series, which every year brings national leaders to discuss crucial topics. Before participating in the lectures, students will receive background information on the topics to be discussed. They will attend preliminary mid-week sessions with Panetta Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta, Institute professor Richard Kezirian and other community leaders to further prepare students for the question-and-answer period with the featured speakers. They will then attend sessions in the Afternoon Student Program, which is held on the day of each lecture. Featured speakers together with moderator Leon E. Panetta spend an afternoon session with students from area high schools, colleges and military installations, addressing issues that relate to the selected topics and answering students’ questions.
NJROTC students are also part of the Institute’s long-running Congressional Internship Program. Cadets attend a workshop on leadership and public service alongside the Congressional interns, and also participate in an informal reception in which speakers, interns and cadets meet and discuss the common challenges facing youth today and opportunities for further education, participation in public service and greater engagement in our democracy.
“This is clearly a model we’re creating with schools that have NJROTC,” Mrs. Panetta said. “We’re very proud of it and we have high expectations for this program. If we want democracy to succeed, we have to increase public service.”
The NJROTC program at Monterey High School is a youth education program sponsored by the Navy to bring out the best in every student. Its mission is to prepare the youth of today for the challenges of tomorrow by teaching them how to effectively work as a team, as well as the leadership and management skills needed for success. The program is available for students in ninth through twelfth grade.
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.
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. This semester’s program began at the Panetta Institute January 31 and will continue through April 18. During this time, 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-one 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.
Sylvia Panetta Serves as Ship Sponsor as She Christens the USS Milwaukee
Panetta Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta recently christened the future USS Milwaukee at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard in Wisconsin, marking an important milestone for the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship (LCS) program.
Mrs. Panetta struck the bow with a bottle of champagne, officially naming the ship the USS Milwaukee, known until then as the LCS 5. The ship, the sixth United States Navy vessel christened in tribute to Wisconsin’s largest city, will be joined by the future USS Jackson (LCS 6) as the first vessels procured under the block buy contract awarded in 2010. The ships represent the true beginning of “serial production” for this class — a way for the Navy to realize cost savings and reduced construction time.
“It is a true privilege to serve as the sponsor for this ship as it begins its journey of service and commitment to our powerful fleet,” said Mrs. Panetta. “I am proud to support the ship’s crew over the course of service as this ship leads with strength and protects our freedom. My congratulations to the city of Milwaukee as this ship assumes its name.”
The christening ceremony was followed by a dramatic side launch of the ship into the Menominee River. The Milwaukee will continue to undergo outfitting and testing at Marinette Marine. 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.
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.”
Participants in the eight-day 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.
Last year’s leadership class also heard from and met with Panetta Institute founder Secretary Leon E. Panetta as part of the program. 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. 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.
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. His career with CBS has put him in the center of national political issues, with assignments including the White House, the United States Congress, the State Department and the Pentagon.
He has moderated three presidential debates and is one of broadcast journalism’s most experienced Washington reporters.
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. The website Examiner.com described her this way: “Although (she) is considered one of the most staunch liberal Democrats in the Senate, her Republican colleagues rate her as one of the most bipartisan.”
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.” In 2010, Senator Chambliss helped create the so-called “Gang of Six,” consisting of three Republican and three Democratic senators to create a deficit-cutting plan. That group has since expanded to eight.
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.
Panetta Interns Return From Duty in Washington After Historic Time in Our Nation’s Capitol
Twenty six participants in the fifteenth annual Congressional Internship Program have returned home after working for two and a half months in the Washington congressional offices of the California delegation, preceded by an intensive two-week preparation at the Panetta Institute that concluded August 23.
While in Washington, interns worked full-time for eleven weeks in their assigned congressional offices. Their daily tasks ranged from answering constituent questions to conducting tours of the Capitol and attending hearings to provide important, up-to-date summaries to congressional members.
Interns also attended weekly seminars held exclusively for them by the Institute. These seminars were 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. Also among the speakers this year was Peter Rouse, counselor to President Barack Obama and one of the president’s top advisors. Interns also heard from Thomas J. Wickham, Jr., House of Representatives parliamentarian, Ashton B. Carter, deputy secretary of defense, former United States Senator Tom Daschle and many others.
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.”
The program began with a two-week preparation seminar at the Panetta Institute. During that time, interns spent several sessions with Secretary Leon E. Panetta, who discussed the many issues he faced during his career in Washington as a congressional leader, White House chief of staff, CIA director and secretary of defense.
“Whatever office you’re in, whether Republican or Democrat,” the Secretary said, “be your own person; use your own judgment. Have enough independence to see what’s going on in Washington — what’s working and what’s not working. Change is not going to happen from the top down. Change will happen when people like you go into public service. It all starts at the local level, in the community and in local government. Get involved — the sooner, the better. You are the ones who will plant the seeds of change. The purpose of it all is to have your children have a better life. If that happens, this course will have been a success.”
In addition to classes with Secretary Panetta, the unique training portion of the program featured briefings from national leaders and policy experts. Interns were also coached for their congressional office interviews and prepared for their daily assigned tasks.
Among the speakers during the two-week orientation were John Sullivan, former parliamentarian, U.S. House of Representatives; Jim Cunneen, principal at California Strategies, LLC and a former Republican California assemblyman; Fernando Torres-Gil, former assistant secretary for aging (HHS); Colin Kahl, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East; Jack O’Connell, former California state superintendent of public instruction, and Joe Minarik, former chief economist for the White House Office of Management and Budget.
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 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. It is okay to disagree with others, as long as one is willing to compromise and understand the other side.”
“We are proud that our program has earned the reputation of being one of the finest internship programs in Washington, D.C.,” said Secretary Panetta. “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.”
Secretary Panetta’s Career Documented in Exhibit
The Panetta Institute 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.
The 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 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 career in public service.
Two Panetta Institute Programs Selected for Prestigious Excellence in Education Award
The Panetta Institute has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Excellence in Education Award by the Monterey County School Boards Association for two of its innovative programs that have transformed students’ lives.
Both programs – Monterey County Reads and the Leon E. Panetta Lecture Series Afternoon Student Program – were selected based on the following criteria:
- For having a significant, transformative impact on students’ education and/or well being.
- For exceeding expectations in pursuit of addressing unmet student needs.
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