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

Barbara Starr

Barbara Starr

Mike Rogers

Mike Rogers

Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden

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

Commenting on the honorees, Institute Chairman and Co-Founder Leon E. Panetta said, “with growing unrest throughout the Middle East, the crisis in Ukraine, the threat posed by the Islamic state, those in elected offices owe it to our men and women in uniform to reach across party lines and to lead in the best interest of our nation. Senator Wyden and Representative Rogers understand their role as public servants and have shown time and time again their commitment to country above party. CNN’s Barbara Starr has dedicated her career to ensuring the Americans are properly informed about our nation’s defense. During these perilous times, their contributions are more essential than ever.”

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.

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, call the Panetta Institute at 831-582-4200.

Secretary Panetta Signs Worthy Fights at Casa Munras Hotel

worthySecretary Leon E. Panetta’s participated in a book signing of his best-selling memoir, Worthy Fights, at the Casa Munras Hotel and Spa in Monterey on Tuesday, November 11.

Worthy Fights is an account of Secretary’s Panetta’s varied career, from his days as an aide to California Senator Tom Kuchel through his service ultimately as director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense for President Barack Obama. The memoir has become a best-seller and is one of the most-discussed books of 2014.

Secretary Panetta chronicles his early years growing up on the Monterey Peninsula and progresses through his career in public service, a journey that began as an army intelligence officer and continued all the way to his service as the nation’s twenty-third Secretary of Defense.

The 472-page memoir reflects on the Secretary’s varied career, as a Republican aide in President Richard Nixon’s Health Education and Welfare Department, a sixteen-year Democratic party leader in Congress, director of the Office of Management and Budget, White House Chief of Staff as well as director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense.

Worthy Fights is an overview of Secretary Panetta’s values, which he describes at length. He makes the case that political leadership should be more about serving the public than it is about partisan battles, and how he learned the principles of integrity early in his career.

The memoir also details how Secretary Panetta and his wife Sylvia founded the Panetta Institute for Public Policy as part of their ongoing belief in the value of public service. In addition to being a look back at his fifty-year career, Worthy Fights is a blueprint for effective leadership in the public arena, with real-world examples of how a public servant can be a successful advocate without losing his or her commitment to the principles of plain-spoken values and integrity.

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

11Secretary Leon E. Panetta received one of the nation’s highest honors, the William J. Donovan Award, which was 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 and Mrs. Panetta Honored at 98th Annual Italian Community Services Celebration

Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Mrs. Sylvia Panetta were honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the Italian Community Services (ICS) organization at the group’s ninety-eighth anniversary dinner on November 2 in San Francisco.

ICS President Luigi E. Pinotti said Secretary and Mrs. Panetta were honored as founders of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, “for their contribution to the community and for promoting the traditions of excellence that Italians and Italian Americans have based their successes on.”

Founded in 1916 by leading members of the San Francisco Italian community, such as A.P. Giannini, Marco Fontana and Andrea Sbarboro, the agency’s services help Bay Area Italian men and women by offering a variety of health and social services. Through educational and cultural programs, ICS also works to preserve the Bay Area’s strong Italian traditions, language and culture to ensure they remain a source of strength and identity for this and future generations.

Panetta Institute Survey Cited in Report on ‘Civility in Politics’ Conference

A recent conference at University of California, San Diego explored the issue of civility in American political discourse, and a writer covering the event cited a Panetta Institute survey revealing that college students may be turning away from political news even while they remain interested in getting involved in public service.

Writing for the website Independent Voter Network (IVN) about the Conference on Ethics, Transparency and Civility held on October 16, UC San Diego graduate Nancy Phung described a panel discussion about the news media’s focus on conflict and the impact it has on young voters.

She cited the Panetta Institute 2014 Survey of America’s College Students that showed “that only 25 percent of college students say they are paying ‘very’ or ‘fairly close’ attention to news about the 2014 elections.” She also quoted the report’s conclusion that “gridlock between the political parties” concerns more than fifty percent of students.

Her coverage of the conference is in line with the Institute’s survey showing that despite the disenchantment with media coverage of politics, students are actually more inclined than in the past to consider running for public office themselves, particularly at the state or local level.

In Ms. Phung’s article, Todd Gloria, San Diego City Council president, said:  “I speak to a lot of young people and it is very interesting to me that by and large they don’t have a great deal of respect or interest in politics because they think it is a dirty business. … And yet, they are deeply involved in their communities in community service and engagement.”

The Independent Voter Network (IVN) is a website that provides a platform for unfiltered political news and policy analysis from independent-minded authors.

The Panetta Institute conducts a periodic Youth Civic Engagement Survey, a nationwide poll gauging young people’s interest in politics and civic involvement.

Secretary Panetta Tells ‘60 Minutes’ That Battle Against Terrorists Will Be a Long-Term Commitment

Former Defense Secretary Panetta said that arming moderate Syrian rebels "would have helped."

Former Defense Secretary Panetta said that arming moderate Syrian rebels “would have helped.”

Former Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta appeared on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” on September 21, 2014 to explain that the United States’ battle against the extremist group ISIS will not be finished anytime soon.

CBS News Anchor Scott Pelley asked Secretary Panetta how long it might take to destroy ISIS. Secretary Panetta said, “I think it’s going to take a long time. And, I think the American people need to know it’s going to take a long time.”

The interview with Secretary Panetta was one segment of an in-depth look at some of the recent territorial gains made by ISIS, as well as graphic scenes depicting the horrors that have been inflicted on the people of Iraq and Syria.

The 60 Minutes interview also gave a glimpse into Secretary Panetta’s book, Worthy Fights, in which the Secretary writes that he, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CIA Director David H. Petraeus and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey all urged President Barack Obama to arm moderate Syrians who had started a revolution against dictator Bashar al-Assad.

“The real key was how could we develop a leadership group among the opposition that would be able to take control,” said Secretary Panetta. “And my view was, to have leverage to do that, we would have to provide the weapons and the training in order for them to really be willing to work with us in that effort.”

imagesSecretary Panetta discussed the president’s decision not to intervene, saying: “I think the president’s concern, and I understand it, was that he had a fear that if we started providing weapons, we wouldn’t know where those weapons would wind up. My view was: You have to begin somewhere.”

Asked whether arming rebels would have been effective, Secretary Panetta said: “I think that would have helped. And I think in part, we paid the price for not doing that in what we see happening with ISIS.”

In the interview, Mr. Pelley also asked Secretary Panetta about unrest in Iraq and the pullout of American troops in 2011. “It’s a tragic story,” he said. Rather than leaving Iraq, “I really thought that it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq. The decision was that we ought to at least try to maintain 8,000 to 10,000 U.S. troops there, plus keeping some of our intelligence personnel in place, to be able to continue the momentum in the right direction. And frankly, having those troops there, I think would’ve given us greater leverage on (former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki) to try to force him to do the right thing as well.”

Prime Minister Maliki, Secretary Panetta said, “had the opportunity to kind of hold all of this together. (But he) just turned on the Sunnis, fed into the historical sectarian divisions that have marred that country for centuries. And basically undercut and undermined the security force in Iraq and created, I think, the very ingredients that led to what we see today in Iraq.”

Secretary Panetta concluded: “We gave (Iraq) a chance. I mean, you know, nobody can guarantee that Iraq would be able to go in the right direction. But we gave them a chance. We gave them the tools. But instead, he turned to vengeance. And vengeance never pays off.”

Secretary Panetta Emphasizes the Role of Reading in Helping Young People Achieve the American Dream

Secretary Leon E. Panetta was the keynote speaker at the Volunteer and School Recognition Ceremony for Monterey County Reads on Friday, September 12, as 180 volunteers were honored for their dedication in helping children achieve grade level literacy skills.

Secretary Panetta talks with a volunteer about reading

Secretary Panetta talks with a volunteer about reading

Secretary Panetta looked back on his own education on the Monterey Peninsula and told the honorees, “The key to success in America is opportunity for all. But the key to success is a good education, and the key to a good education is the ability to read. And all of that is the American dream.”

Secretary Panetta recalled going to Catholic school and going to the old Monterey Library, where there was a program in which adults read books to children. He still recalls his favorites — a book series called the Dave Dawson series along with books by John Steinbeck and Jack London.

“Those were great books that opened up a world to a young boy. And that’s what reading is all about. The whole purpose of reading,” he said, “is to develop the whole mind of our children.”

He observed that today’s high-tech world has many gadgets, however, “I just want to remind all of us that those are tools. They don’t replace the brain.”

What Monterey County Reads is all about, he said, “is to give young people a chance.” The result, he said, will be “that we always have a democracy that is of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Volunteers, School Officials Honored for the Continuing Success of Monterey County Reads

The Panetta Institute honored 180 volunteers in the Monterey County Reads program at its Volunteer and School Recognition Ceremony on Friday, September 12. The Institute also paid tribute to the forty elementary schools who welcome volunteers into their classrooms and whose teachers and administrators help make the program possible.

Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Kotowski discusses reading as Mrs. Panetta looks on.

Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Kotowski discusses reading as Mrs. Panetta looks on.

This Volunteer and School Recognition Ceremony, held at the Monterey Peninsula College Marina Education Center, was in honor of those whose outstanding work helps local elementary school children improve their reading skills. Volunteers received certificates of recognition along with special pins, while participating schools also received a certificate honoring their important participation and support.

Following the keynote address by Secretary Leon E. Panetta, the master of ceremonies for the event, Panetta Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta, told the audience, “Monterey County Reads is a tremendous example of the power of partnerships to improve our communities and protect the well being of our children. 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.”

The ceremony also featured remarks from a reading volunteer, a school site-coordinator and the Monterey County Superintendent of Schools.

Mrs. Panetta honors Patricia Zuniga, Santa Rita School site coordinator

Mrs. Panetta honors Patricia Zuniga, Santa Rita School literacy coach.

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.

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.

Department of Interior Aide Recalls How Congressional Internship Program Led to His Career in Washington

Steven Avila and President Obama

Steven Avila and President Obama

Steven Avila, a former participant in the Panetta Institute’s Congressional Internship Program, is now a special assistant in the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs at the United States Department of the Interior. And he credits both the Panetta Institute and California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) for giving him this “incredible opportunity.”

Writing for the online website CSU Voices and Views, Mr. Avila tells how as a new student at CSUMB, he received information in his student mailbox about the Institute’s Congressional Internship Program that “changed my life forever.”

Every year, the program sends one student from each of the twenty three CSU campuses, as well as Dominican University of California, Saint Mary’s College of California and Santa Clara University to Washington D.C. to intern with a member of Congress from the California delegation.

“I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is an unbelievable opportunity, too bad I don’t have a chance’,” Mr. Avila recalled.

“But one application, several group interviews, and some essays later, I was selected to represent CSUMB in the 2010 Panetta Internship class,” he continued. “It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Working on Capitol Hill, living in Washington and being surrounded by the most dedicated, hard-working people I had ever met confirmed to me that I had to dedicate my life to public service.”

After returning to CSUMB his senior year, he applied to the White House Internship Program. After graduation, he was offered a job within the Obama administration as a senior analyst in the Office of Presidential Correspondence. After two years at the White House, he was hired at the Department of the Interior.

“Despite all its dysfunction, Washington is a wonderful place to meet brilliant people attempting to do some pretty amazing things,” said Mr. Avila. “We are all driven by different interests, but by working together on behalf of our fellow citizens, we can truly make this country the best that it can be.”

He added: “I never would have been on this path had it not been for my internships and the education I received while at CSUMB. I’m grateful for the opportunities I have had, and I will never forget them, but I am even more excited to see what is in store for the future.”

Secretary Panetta Honored by Santa Cruz County Red Cross

Secretary Panetta accepts award from Red Cross Board Chair Rick Martinez

Secretary Panetta accepts award from Red Cross Board Chair Rick Martinez

Secretary Leon E. Panetta was presented the Humanitarian of the Year award by the Santa Cruz County Chapter of the American Red Cross at its annual “Celebrate the Red” gala on September 27 in Santa Cruz.

Secretary Panetta was honored for his determination to help the citizens of the Central Coast region following the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Looking back at the extensive loss of life and property, the Red Cross took the opportunity, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the disaster, to recognize Secretary Panetta for his work in securing immediate relief aid as well as long-term assistance during the long aftermath of the 6.9-magnitude quake. Red Cross officials recalled that then-Congressman Panetta was instrumental in working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), along with about ten other local, state and federal agencies, to obtain disaster funding and direct assistance to help communities receive the resources they needed to begin the recovery process.

In accepting his award, Secretary Panetta recalled the extensive damage across the region and how the Red Cross was quick to respond. He said that time and again the Red Cross has come to the aid of the people of the Central Coast, which he is “proud to call home.” He also acknowledged other Red Cross programs within the United States and abroad, including disaster relief, safety training and “serving in something particularly close to me, military families, military forces and our veterans.”

Secretary Panetta also remembered how those most affected by the quake and its aftershocks grew increasingly frustrated with the red tape resulting from the bureaucracy created by the different agencies involved in the recovery. He said he met weekly with the representatives of “all those agencies in one room” so that they could work cooperatively with one another. “We had those meetings every Saturday for a number of months.”

He also reiterated his commitment to the greater Monterey Bay region and said that his “proudest achievement” was his role in establishing the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

For a video of Secretary Panetta’s speech, click here. For photos of the event, click here.

Research Fellows Program Featured Four Guest Speakers and Institute Chairman Secretary Panetta

Four law-school students from the Santa Clara University School of Law participated in the Panetta Institute’s fall 2014 Policy Research Fellows Program, and five more will join the program in the spring of 2015.

Fellows work on site at the Panetta Institute gaining first-hand experience and instruction in policy research and assisting the Institute with research and analysis on issues relevant to its work and mission. In addition, the Institute arranges special seminars with visiting speakers and experts from a variety of government agencies.

For the 2014 fall semester, four guest speakers met with the students for special discussions about issues currently facing public officials regionally, statewide and nationally. Speakers included Fred Keeley, former state assemblyman and current Santa Cruz treasurer; John Laird, California Secretary for Natural Resources and also a former assemblyman; Ryan Coonerty, Santa Cruz County supervisor-elect and former mayor of the city of Santa Cruz; and Drew Liebert, chief counsel to the California Legislature’s Assembly Judiciary Committee.

In addition, Secretary Leon E. Panetta also met with the four students as part of their course work at the Institute.

Among the many topics discussed were the national budget, bipartisanship, youth civic engagement, national service, energy, immigration, national security and healthcare.

Fellows work under the direction of Panetta Institute staff and attorneys. Following completion of the program, fellows receive academic credit for their work. Working with the fellows are Bill Daniels, a local attorney, Dr. Richard Kezirian, the Institute’s professor and senior program coordinator and Ellen Wilson, program coordinator.

The Policy Research Fellows Program started in 2006, and since then, fifty-six students have completed their semester of service, receiving academic credit from their host schools.

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.

Sue Antle Named to Panetta Institute Board of Directors

Sue Antle, a longtime supporter of the Panetta Institute and a sponsor of many of the Institute’s programs, has been named to the Panetta Institute’s Board of Directors, Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta has announced.

Bob.Sue.Antle (smaller)In this role, Mrs. Antle succeeds her late husband of 58 years, Bob Antle.

“We are overjoyed to welcome such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic friend of the Institute to the board,” said Mrs. Panetta. “She has long been involved in many of our programs, particularly as a sponsor and advocate.”

Mrs. Antle and her husband have been key sponsors of both the Leon Panetta Lecture Series and the Jefferson-Lincoln Awards: An Evening to Honor Lives of Public Service. Mrs. Antle has also been involved with the Monterey County Reads program since its inception in 1997.

Mrs. Antle 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.

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.

Secretary Panetta Throws Out First Pitch at AT&T Park Prior to Giants-Dodgers Faceoff

mlbf_36246087_th_2Secretary Leon E. Panetta, a longtime San Francisco Giants fan, took the mound at San Francisco’s AT&T Park and threw out the first pitch at a battle between the Giants and longtime rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After first donning his orange and black Giants hat and being introduced to a cheering crowd of more than 42,000 fans, Secretary Panetta strode out to the perfectly groomed mound and heaved his right-handed delivery toward the plate. For most Giants’ fans, that Panetta Pitch just might have been the highlight of the night. The Dodgers prevailed, 17-0.

Panetta Interns Finish Assignments in Congressional Offices and Complete Educational Programs

Participants in the sixteenth annual Congressional Internship Program, have returned from Washington D.C. and their assignments in Congressional offices after thirteen weeks of intensive training that began at the Panetta Institute in August and continued through November in the nation’s capital. In addition to their work in Congressional offices, interns also attended weekly seminars with a variety of government officials and other experts from a variety of disciplines.


“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 the 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 worked full-time in the Congressional offices of the California delegation, for members of both parties. Their daily tasks ranged 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.”

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. For information on subscriptions to the 2015 season or sponsorship opportunities call the Panetta Institute at 831-582-4200.

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 Survey, click here.

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 Times, San Diego Union, Fresno 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 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 California State University system and three private universities concluded its fifteenth session at the Panetta Institute in 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.”

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.

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