Jefferson-Lincoln Awards

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

Fran Townsend

Fran Townsend

Sam Farr

Sam Farr

Lisa Murkowski

Lisa Murkowski

Tom Carper

Tom Carper


The seventeenth annual Jefferson-Lincoln Awards: An Evening to Honor Lives of Public Service gala will be held on Saturday, November 12, 2016  at The Inn at Spanish Bay.

This year’s honorees are Tom Carper, United States Senator (D), Delaware; Lisa Murkowski, United States Senator (R), Alaska; Sam Farr, United States Representative (D), 20th District, California; Fran Townsend, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (2004-2008); and Robert Mueller, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (2001-2013).

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 here to download an invitation and here for an 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.

The gala and dinner serve as the Panetta Institute’s major yearly fundraiser. Sponsor tables are $15,000. Individual seats are available for $750.00.


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.

Previous Jefferson-Lincoln honorees include:

Year 2015

  • Scott Pelley, CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor and correspondent for the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes
  • Martha Raddatz, ABC News chief global affairs correspondent
  • David Martin, CBS News national security correspondent covering the Pentagon and the State Department
  • Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News chief Pentagon correspondent.

Year 2014

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

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, 22nd Secretary of Defense (R)
  • Alice Rivlin, 30th Director, U.S. Office of Management and Budget (D)
  • 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, 20th Secretary of Defense (R)
  • 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 (R)

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