Jefferson-Lincoln Awards

Click on the image to view the invitation.

The eighteenth annual Jefferson-Lincoln Awards: An Evening to Honor Lives of Public Service gala will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at The Inn at Spanish Bay.

This year’s honorees are Rob Portman, United States Senator (R), Ohio; and Jack Reed, United States Senator (D), Rhode Island.

The Jefferson-Lincoln Awards are presented each year to individuals whose professional achievements represent exceptional commitment to the principles of our democracy and a dedication to encouraging the healthy function of the United States system of government through an informed electorate.

The gala evening features the presentations of awards as well as an outstanding four-course, gourmet dinner with fine wines prepared by honored local and visiting chefs.

Click on the image to print the RSVP card.

The Jefferson-Lincoln Awards celebration is the Panetta Institute’s major fundraising event of the year, and helps support the many programs that promote the Institute’s goal of enhancing public policy and attracting thoughtful men and women to lives of public service.

United States Senator Rob Portman was first elected in 2010, running a campaign that focused on common sense conservative ideas to help create jobs and get the deficit under control. Born and raised in Cincinnati, he grew up in a family that ran a small business, where he learned early on the value of hard work, leadership, and fiscal responsibility. His dad, Bill Portman, borrowed money to start Portman Equipment Company, where the Portman children worked with their parents while growing up. Together, they built the business from a small forklift truck dealership with five employees to one that employed more than 300 people.

Rob Portman became a lawyer and developed his own private practice, representing Portman Equipment Company and other small businesses. In 1993, he was elected to Congress, where he represented the diverse, seven-county Second District in southern Ohio. He served the Second District for twelve years, and in seven elections, he never received less than seventy percent of the vote.

In 2005, Rob Portman left Congress when he was asked to serve as the United States Trade Representative, the Cabinet-level official responsible for implementing and enforcing U.S. trade policy. As America’s Trade Representative, he was successful in reducing barriers to U.S. exports and increasing enforcement of trade laws to help level the playing field for American farmers, workers, and service providers. Under his leadership, American exports increased and the U.S. brought successful legal challenges against international trade law violations — including against China.

Following his accomplishments as Trade Representative, Rob Portman was asked to serve in another cabinet post, this time as director of the Office of Management and Budget. He proposed a balanced budget, fought irresponsible earmarks, and put in place new transparency measures for all federal spending.

As senator, he co-authored the bipartisan Leveling the Playing Field Act, which was signed into law by President Obama and gives the federal government better tools to fight unfair imports. He also authored the ENFORCE Act, which was signed into law and helps the federal government crack down on countries like China that try to evade United States trade laws. Senator Portman is a member of the Finance Committee, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the Committee on Foreign Relations. He is also Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

United States Senator Jack Reed has a proven record of working on a bipartisan basis to help solve problems and achieve results. He was born and raised in Cranston, Rhode Island, and was nominated for an appointment to the United States Military Academy by United States Senator John O. Pastore. After graduating from the Military Academy in 1971 near the top of his class and receiving an active duty commission in the Army, Jack Reed earned a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1982.

After graduating from law school, he became an attorney in private practice, specializing in banking and securities law. He served three terms in the Rhode Island State Senate, where he focused on housing, children’s welfare, and mental health issues.  He then was elected to three terms in the United States House of Representatives.

In 1996, Senator Reed was elected to succeed Claiborne Pell as Rhode Island’s forty-sixth United States Senator. Today, he is a national leader on consumer protection, defense, education, and economic issues.  He has led efforts to promote responsible budgets, create jobs, and strengthen our economy.

As one of just eight senators in United States history to graduate from West Point, TIME magazine noted: “Reed is a serious, intellectually honest veteran and an expert on defense issues in the Senate,” and The New York Times described him as “a quiet dealmaker respected by colleagues in both parties.”

As a senior member of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Reed authored several key pieces of the historic Wall Street reform bill and has been nationally recognized for his dedication to protecting United States consumers.

Senator Reed also helped create the powerful new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to give American families the tools to fight unfair and abusive financial products and services, as well as a new Office of Financial Research (OFR) that helps provide early warnings to regulators about future financial problems.

Recently, Senator Reed authored laws to create a new affordable rental housing trust fund, improve consumer disclosures on mortgages, and address the needs of middle-class families who are struggling with the fallout from the housing crisis.

Additionally, Senator Reed has been a leading voice on college affordability and student loan debt issues.


The Jefferson-Lincoln Awards are made possible thanks to the generosity of a variety of individuals and organizations who have joined a growing list of sponsors and hosts for the event. For information about becoming a sponsor, please contact the Panetta Institute at 831-582-4200.

2016 sponsors included:


Sue M. Antle

Debra and George W. Couch III

Sherry E. DeBoer

California State University, Monterey Bay

Mike and Mary Orradre

Anthony Varni/Dennis O’Brien


Rick and Amie Claussen

Frank and Denise Quattrone Foundation; Denise Foderaro and Frank Quattrone, trustees

The Panetta Family

Zenith Insurance — A Fairfax Company


Automobile Club of Southern California

Beacon Global Strategies

Laurie and David Benjamin

Blue Shield of California

The Boeing Company

California American Water

Cannery Row Company

Sarah Jane and Louis Castruccio

Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation


Debra and George W. Couch III

Dignity Health

Dominican University of California

The Eubanks Family Foundation

Montage Health

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Oracle Corporation

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pacific Maritime Association /                          Sugerman Communications Group

Pebble Beach Authors & Ideas Festival

Pebble Beach Company

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System

Santa Clara University

Santa Cruz Seaside Company

Southern Company

Stevens, Sloan & Shah CPAs

Tanimura & Antle, Inc.

Edward and Louise Trout

Victory Toyota Scion-Lexus Monterey Peninsula


Stanley Zax


Rusty Areias and Julie Sandino

AT&T California

Bank of America

Gail and Jim Griggs

Monterey County Business Council

Union Bank

Welton Foundation



Previous Jefferson-Lincoln honorees include:

Year 2016

  • Tom Carper, U.S. Senator (D), Delaware
  • Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator (R), Alaska
  • Sam Farr, U.S. Representative (D), 20th Congressional District, California
  • Fran Townsend, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (2004-2008)
  • Robert Mueller, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (2002-2013)

Year 2015

  • Scott Pelley, Anchor, CBS Evening News and Managing Editor and Correspondent, 60 Minutes
  • Martha Raddatz, Chief Global Affairs correspondent, ABC News
  • David Martin, National Security Correspondent, Pentagon and State Department, CBS News
  • Jim Miklaszewski, Chief Pentagon Correspondent, NBC News

Year 2014

  • Ron Wyden, U.S. Senator (D), Oregon
  • Mike Rogers, U.S. Representative (R), 8th District, Michigan
  • Barbara Starr, Chief Pentagon Correspondent, CNN

Year 2013

  • Bob Schieffer, Host CBS Face the Nation
  • Barbara Mikulski, U.S. Senator (D), Maryland
  • Saxby Chambliss, U.S. Senator (R), Georgia

Year 2012

  • Ray LaHood, 16th Secretary of Transportation (R)
  • Candy Crowley, Chief Political Correspondent and Anchor, CNN
  • Steny Hoyer, U.S. Representative (D), 5th District, Maryland

Year 2011

  • Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense (R) (2006-2011)
  • Alice Rivlin, Director, U.S. Office of Management and Budget (D) (1994-1996)
  • Wolf Blitzer, Lead Political Anchor, CNN

Year 2010

  • Tom Brokaw, Special Correspondent, NBC Nightly News
  • Cokie Roberts, Senior News Analyst, NPR and ABC News
  • David Brooks, Columnist, The New York Times

Year 2009

  • Bernard Shaw, Anchor Emeritus, CNN
  • Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, NBC News
  • Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor and Anchor, PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

Year 2008

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, 38th Governor (R), California
  • Jane Harman, U.S. Representative (D), 36th District, California
  • Jim Saxton, U.S. Representative (R), 3rd District, New Jersey
  • Ron Brownstein, Political Director, Atlantic Media

Year 2007

  • David Broder, National Political Correspondent, The Washington Post
  • Judy Woodruff, Senior Correspondent, PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
  • Belva Davis, Television Journalist, KQED

Year 2006

  • Sherwood Boehlert, U.S. Representative (R), 24th District, New York
  • Ike Skelton, U.S. Representative (D), 4th District, Missouri

Year 2005

  • Susan Collins, U.S. Senator (R), Maine
  • Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senator (D), California
  • Joseph Lieberman, U.S. Senator (D), Connecticut

Year 2004 

  • John Breaux, U.S. Senator (D), Louisiana
  • Olympia Snowe, U.S. Senator (R), Maine

Year 2003 

  • William Cohen, Secretary of Defense (R) (1997-2001)
  • Norman Mineta, 14th Secretary of Transportation (D)
  • Marty Meehan, U.S. Representative (D), 5th District, Massachusetts
  • Christopher Shays, U.S. Representative (R), 4th District, Connecticut

Year 2002 

  • Russ Feingold, U.S. Senator (D), Wisconsin
  • John McCain, U.S. Senator (R), Arizona

Year 2001 

  • John Murtha, U.S. Representative (D), 12th District, Pennsylvania
  • Bill Young, U.S. Representative (R), 10th District, Florida

Year 2000

  • John Chafee, U.S. Senator (R), Rhode Island Posthumously
  • Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S. Senator (D), New York