The Panetta Institute for Public Policy
Founded in 1997 by Leon and Sylvia Panetta, the Panetta Institute serves the entire California State University system plus several other schools. Under the direction of Secretary and Mrs. Panetta, the Institute provides a variety of study opportunities in government, politics and public policy, and sponsors a range of other programs.
Each year, the Leon Panetta Lecture Series brings national political leaders and policy thinkers to the Monterey Peninsula to discuss important issues facing the nation and our world. In addition, the Institute conducts a periodic nationwide survey of college students, gauging their interest in politics and civic involvement. (See our latest “Youth Civic Engagement Survey” conducted by Hart Research Associates.)
Our Congressional Internship Program gives selected students from throughout the CSU system, along with other schools, an opportunity to get a firsthand look at the legislative process by working in a congressional office in Washington, D.C. Our annual Leadership Seminar provides student-body officers with skills to meet leadership challenges on campus, in local communities and in future public service.
We have also developed a Policy Research Fellows Program, which offers students from Santa Clara University School of Law an opportunity to study here and develop their understanding of public policy.
The Leon E. Panetta Archive offers a resource for scholars interested in the workings of Congress, the White House, federal agencies and local government based on Secretary Panetta’s personal papers spanning nearly fifty years of public service.
In addition, the Institute coordinates the Monterey County Reads program, recruiting and training hundreds of reading volunteers in our surrounding communities to work with children in first through third grade.
In all its activities and programs, the Panetta Institute makes a special effort to recruit and include students of diverse racial, cultural and economic backgrounds. We actively encourage an atmosphere of free and open inquiry respectful of political differences, and we promulgate a code of conduct that condemns any form of discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law.