Jefferson-Lincoln Awards

The twentieth annual Jefferson-Lincoln Awards: An Evening to Honor Lives of Public Service gala was held on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at The Inn at Spanish Bay.

United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), University of California President Janet Napolitano, United States Representative Joshua S. Gottheimer (D-New Jersey) and United States Representative Thomas W. Reed II (R-New York) were the latest in a series of national figures to be honored not only for their years of public service, but also for their spirit of bipartisanship in representing the American people as well as their own constituents.

Also appearing at the gala event were former United States Senator Alan Simpson, who accepted a Jefferson-Lincoln Award on behalf of Senator Alexander, and Garrett Ashley  of the California State University system, who accepted a plaque honoring Tim White, the chancellor of the CSU system for his support of the Panetta Institute.

Senator Lamar Alexander was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and has been re-elected twice. His Republican colleagues elected him three times to be chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

Senator Alexander, a seventh-generation Tennessean born and raised in Maryville, was twice elected governor of Tennessee.

In 2016, the nation’s governors created the James Madison Award to recognize members of Congress who support federalism and the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing states’ rights. The governors named Senator Alexander as the first-ever recipient of the award for his work to fix No Child Left Behind.

In 2013, the National Conference of State Legislatures gave Senator Alexander and three other senators its “Restoring the Balance” Award for protecting states’ rights.

Senator Alexander chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He is also chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee.He has previously served as president of the University of Tennessee and as U.S. Secretary of Education under George H.W. Bush.

The author of seven books, Senator Alexander and his wife Honey have four children and nine grandchildren.

University of California President Janet Napolitano is the twentieth president of the University of California, and the first woman to serve in this role. She leads a university system of ten campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program.

A distinguished public servant, Napolitano served as the United States secretary of homeland security from 2009 to 2013, as governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009, as attorney general of Arizona from 1998 to 2003, and as U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona from 1993 to 1997.

Napolitano has launched an initiative to accelerate the translation of UC research into new businesses and inventions that benefit the public good, and she has implemented reforms to UC’s approach to preventing and responding to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Ms. Napolitano has upheld the university’s legacy of leadership on global climate action, putting UC on a path to 100 percent reliance on clean electricity across all campuses and medical centers by 2025, the same year the university aims to achieve systemwide carbon neutrality.

Ms. Napolitano earned her B.S. degree (summa cum laude in political science) in 1979 from Santa Clara University, where she was Phi Beta Kappa, a Truman Scholar and the university’s first female valedictorian. She received her law degree in 1983 from the University of Virginia School of Law. In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal (Law), the University of Virginia’s highest external honor.

Ms. Napolitano is the author of How Safe Are We: Homeland Security Since 9/11, published in March, 2019.

Representative Joshua S. Gottheimer represents New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District in the northernmost part of the state. He was sworn in on January 3, 2017.

In Congress, Representative serves on the House Financial Services Committee, where he works on three subcommittees: National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy Subcommittee, the Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets Subcommittee, and the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee.

In February 2017, Representative Gottheimer was elected co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, where he works to bring the group of twenty four Democrats and twenty four Republicans together across party lines to find areas of agreement on key issues including lowering taxes, cutting burdensome and unnecessary regulation, lowering health insurance premiums, and improving infrastructure to help the American people.

Representative Gottheimer graduated from West Essex High School before attending the University of Pennsylvania, later becoming a Thouron Fellow at Oxford, and then paid his way through Harvard Law School.

When finishing college, Representative Gottheimer went on to work in the Clinton White House as one of the youngest presidential speechwriters in history.  After leaving the White House, he worked at the Ford Motor Company, where he helped rebuild the iconic auto company’s image and worked on the first American hybrid. He is the author of the book Ripples of Hope: Great American Civil Rights Speeches.

Representative Gottheimer lives in Wyckoff, New Jersey with his wife Marla, who a former federal prosecutor, and their two young children.

Representative Thomas W. Reed II is the youngest of twelve children and,was raised by a single mother on a Social Security check. His father, a decorated career military officer, died when he was two, but he says today he learned from his legacy of service and loyalty.

Before going to Congress, Representative Reed was the mayor of Corning, the town where he was raised and still lives today under the roof of the home his grandfather built. As the mayor of his hometown, he learned that  potholes and parking tickets are not partisan issues, and that is the approach he brings to Washington.

Representative Reed co-chairs the Problem Solvers Caucus – a group of twenty four Republicans and twenty four Democrats who meet weekly to solve some of the most contentious issues facing our country today. He currently serves on the influential House Ways and Means committee as the Republican Leader of the Social Security Subcommittee.

Representative Reed and his team have completed more than 13,000 constituent cases, resolving issues with the Internal Revenue Service, Veterans Administration, Social Security Administration and other federal agencies. He has also held more than 250 public town hall meetings to listen to the thoughts and concerns of his constituents, earning him recognition as one of the most accessible members of Congress.

A former All-American swimmer, Representative Reed graduated from Alfred University in 1993 and from Ohio Northern University College of Law in 1996. He and his wife Jean have two children.

About the Jefferson-Lincoln Awards

The Jefferson-Lincoln Awards are presented each year to individuals whose professional achievements represent exceptional commitment to the principles of our democracy, to bipartisanship 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.

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 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.

2019 tables included:


The Hon. Lamar Alexander, hosted by California State University, Monterey Bay

The Hon. Janet Napolitano, hosted by Susan Prest and Commander Allen Sherwood, USN (Ret.)

The Hon. Josh Gottheimer, hosted by Mary and Mike Orradre

The Hon. Tom Reed II, hosted by Debra and George Couch III

The Hon. Jimmy Panetta and the Hon. Carrie Panetta, hosted by Anthony B. Varni and the Dennis and Gloria O’Brien Foundation 

The Hon. Leon Panetta and Sylvia Panetta, hosted by Sherry E. DeBoer


Denise Foderaro and Frank Quattrone

The Panetta Family

The Zenith — A Fairfax Company


Tonya Antle

Automobile Club of Southern California

Beacon Global Strategies

Laurie and David Benjamin

Blue Shield of California


Cannery Row Company



Dignity Health

Dominican University of California


The Eubanks Family Foundation

Koret Foundation

Stan McKee

Stan and Sharon Meresman

Montage Health


Pacific Maritime Association and
   Sugerman Communications Group

Pebble Beach Company

Peter G. Peterson Foundation

Commander Allen Sherwood, USN (Ret.)
   and Susan Prest

Santa Clara University

Southern Company

Stevens, Sloan & Shah CPAs

Stanley Zax


Rusty Areias and Julie Sandino Areias

AT&T Communications

Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Katrina and Luca Maestri

Melissa Rosza

The Menlo Companies

Pacific Coast Building Products

Catherine and Wayne Reynolds

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System

Kathy and Tom Wiggans



Previous Jefferson-Lincoln honorees include:

Year 2018

  • John Hickenlooper, Governor (D), Colorado
  • Christine Todd Whitman, Governor, New Jersey
  • Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Year 2017

  • Rob Portman, U.S. Senator (R), Ohio
  • Jack Reed U.S. Senator (D), Rhode Island

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

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

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