Leon Panetta 2020 Lecture Series Focuses on Decision 2020: A Republic If We Can Keep It’

Each spring, Secretary Panetta moderates the Panetta Institute’s highly acclaimed lecture series that brings national leaders, policy experts and journalists to the Monterey Peninsula.

The theme for the Lecture Series is Decision 2020:  A Republic If We Can Keep It. The title is taken from Benjamin Franklin’s response to a citizen’s question, “What have you given us?” as he was leaving the Constitutional Convention’s final session in September of 1787.Franklin replied with clarity and forethought, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

Dates for the four Monday lectures are February 24, March !6, April 20 and May 18. Events in the 2020 Leon Panetta Lecture Series will be held in front of a live, ticketed audience at the Monterey Conference Center in downtown Monterey. Season subscriptions for the four events are available for $400 for one or $800 for two.To order call the Panetta Institute at 831-582-4200 to pay with a credit card.

“It is so important to engage our youth and even our not-so-young citizens in our political system of democracy … today more than ever.”

Betty Danner Canfield, Santa Cruz

During the afternoon of each lecture, the speakers meet with students from the Central Coast and Northern California high schools, colleges and military installations. 

More speakers may be added to the Lecture Series.

In announcing the lineup, Secretary Panetta said “The upcoming election may be the most important in our history and it may very well determine the future of our republic, As voters prepare to go the polls what are the issues that we should be most concerned about?  What are the questions we should be asking the candidates?  What policies and which candidate will best protect our republic in a dangerous world?  We will consider these questions as they relate to the issues of impeachment, the economy, the environment and foreign policy.

“Joining us will be respected journalists, policy experts, former elected officials and military leaders. These are discussions we need to have at a critical time in our history.”

The events for the 2020 season are as follows* :

Monday, February 24: Decision 2020 – Impeachment and the Election, with Bret Baier, host of Special Report with Bret Baier on FOX News and chief political anchor for FOX; David Gregory, CNN political analyst; and Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for National Public Radio and contributor, FOX News Channel.

Monday, March 16: Decision 2020 – An Economy on Borrowed Money, with Todd Buchholz, White House director of economic policy (1989-1992), and Rosa Gumataotao Rios, treasurer of the United States (2009-2016) and visiting scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Monday, April 20: Decision 2020 – A Planet on Borrowed Time, with Mary Robinson, Ireland’s first woman president (1990-1997) and one of the world’s most respected advocates for climate justice; David Wallace-Wells, leading American journalist on climate change and the author of The Uninhabitable Earth; and Jerry Brown (invited), governor of California (1975-1983) and (2011 and 2019.)  

Monday, May 18Decision 2020  – The Future of American Leadership in a Dangerous World, with James Mattis, United States Secretary of Defense (2017-2019) and retired United States Marine Corps general and John Kerry, United States Secretary of State (2013 – 2017) and former United States Senator from Massachusetts (1985-2013).

All lectures are scheduled from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m.

Each of the Leon Panetta Lecture Series programs will be broadcast live throughout California and are also available for viewing via live web-streaming at http://www.panettainstitute.org/programs/lecture-series/webcast-information/ on the Leon Panetta Lecture Series YouTube channel, and are broadcast live on public radio.

For additional information on subscriptions or the lecture broadcast schedule, please call the Panetta Institute at 831-582-4200 or visit www.panettainstitute.org.

For a list of past speakers, click here. For information on becoming a sponsor, call the Panetta Institute at 831-582-4200.

* All dates and speakers are subject to change.