Leon Panetta 2022 Lecture Series The 2022 Midterm Elections and the Future of our Democracy’

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 2022 series is The 2022 Midterm Elections and the Future of our Democracy.

Because of continuing concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Panetta Institute has decided that for the safety of our subscribers, the 2022 season will take place via live webinar.

How to Participate and Opportunities for Sponsorship:

Season subscriptions to the Leon Panetta Lecture Series are available for $400.  Access to individual webinars is available for $100.  To order a subscription or individual event access link, call the Panetta Institute at 831-582-4200 to pay with a credit card.

Sponsors:  The Leon Panetta Lecture Series is made possible by the generous support of our community of sponsors and co-sponsors.  All sponsors receive ten links to each program with co-sponsors receiving five.  These links are associated with a specific email address and can be used on one device (computer, tablet, smartphone, etc.)  Sponsors and co-sponsors also receive special recognition in the promotional materials for the event.  These include the Institute’s website, the online credits for each lecture, event-related press releases and more.  Lecture Series sponsors contribute $15,000 and co-sponsors provide $7,5000.

Each of the four live lectures will be available only to sponsors, subscribers and individual ticket purchasers.  After the final program on May 2, all recorded lectures will be released for viewing on the Panetta Institute website.


“I was concerned a ZOOM version of the famous lecture series would not live up to its long history of providing intimate conversation with those directly involved in the political process.  I was greatly surprised. I enjoyed it tremendously and at times it seemed like a personal presentation just for me.”   

— Lecture Series Subscriber

“In extraordinary times like these with the institutions of our democracy being tested, the ultimate check and balance is ‘We the People’ and our right to vote.  Will the Biden Administration be able to restore the trust of the American people in the ability of Democrats to govern?  Can Republicans heal their divisions, unite behind a vision of the future or be tied to past claims of ‘stolen elections’ by Donald Trump?  Have the fiscal and economic decisions used to combat the pandemic left us with an unpredictable economic future?  How can we restore the American people’s faith in our election process?  How can America lead the world if it cannot lead itself?  More than ever, we must discuss and debate the future of our democracy.”

— Leon E. Panetta, Chairman of the Panetta Institute


The events and speakers for the 2022 Lecture Series are as follows:

Monday, February 28, 6:00 p.m.: Who Will Win – Democrats, Republicans, Truth of Fear?


James Carville is one of America’s best-known political consultants.  His long list of electoral successes evidences a knack for steering overlooked campaigns to unexpected landslide victories and for re-making political underdogs into upset winners.  In 1991, he drew national attention when he led Senator Harris Wofford from forty points behind in the polls to an upset landslide victory over former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh.  His most prominent victory was in 1992, when he helped William Jefferson Clinton win the Presidency.  In recent years, Mr. Carville has focused on campaigns in more than twenty-three countries around the globe stretching from the continents of South America to Europe to Africa and most recently Asia. He is a best-selling author, actor, producer, talk-show host, speaker and restaurateur.  Along with pollster Stanley Greenberg, Mr. Carville founded Democracy Corps, an independent, non-profit polling organization dedicated to making government more responsive to the American people.  Mr. Carville also serves as a professor at Tulane University in New Orleans.


Karl Rove, an iconic political strategist and one of the most sought-after pundits of our time, is best known for his provocative and robust knowledge of the major political issues of the day.  He served as senior advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000-2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was deputy chief of staff for policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.  He was described by author and columnist Michael Barone in U.S. News & World Reportas “…unique…no Presidential appointee has ever had such a strong influence on politics and policy and none is likely to do so again anytime soon.”  Mr. Rove writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, appears frequently on the Fox News Channel, and is the author of the New York Timesbest seller, Courage and Consequence.  His latest book is The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Matters.



Hillary Rodham Clinton has spent four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State and presidential candidate. As First Lady of the United States, she championed health care for all Americans and led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy and create the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  In 2000, she began her historical campaign for president, winning eighteen million votes and becoming the first woman to ever win a presidential primary or caucus state.  In her four years as America’s chief diplomat and the President’s principal foreign policy adviser, Secretary Clinton led the effort to restore America’s leadership in the world.  In 2016, Secretary Clinton made history again by becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major U.S. political party.  She is the author of eight best-selling books, including her campaign memoir, What Happened, and The Book of Gutsy Womenwith Chelsea Clinton.


David Cameron, the United Kingdom’s youngest Prime Minister in two centuries, came to power at a moment of economic crisis.  Under his leadership, the United Kingdom’s economy was transformed.  The deficit was reduced by over two-thirds; one million businesses were set-up; a record number of jobs were created; and Britain became the fastest-growing major advanced economy in the world. These achievements created the stability that Prime Minister Cameron needed to cut taxes, introduce a National Living Wage, transform education, reform welfare, protect the National Health Service and increase pensions.  Internationally, he developed a foreign policy in the post-Iraq era that addressed the new challenges of the Arab Spring, as well as a more aggressive Russia, while ensuring Britain played a full role in the global fight against ISIS. Elected leader of the Conservative Party in 2005 to reform and modernize a party that had lost three elections in a row, Prime Minister Cameron successfully remodeled the Conservative Party with a new and distinct modern, compassionate agenda.



Jason Furman is the Aetna Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy jointly at Harvard University. He is also nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.  Previously he served as a top economic adviser to President Obama, including serving as the twenty-eighth chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers from August 2013 to January 2017, acting as both President Obama’s chief economist and a member of the Cabinet.  Professor Furman also worked at both the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council during the Clinton administration and at the World Bank.  Professor Furman has conducted research in a wide range of areas, such as fiscal policy, tax policy, health economics, Social Security, and domestic and international macroeconomics. He is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journaland a frequent commentator on Bloomberg and CNBC.  In addition to articles in scholarly journals and periodicals, Furman is the editor of two books on economic policy.  He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.


William Dudley served as the tenth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and as the vice chairman and a permanent member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the group responsible for determining the nation’s monetary policy, from January 2009 until June 2018. The Markets Group oversees domestic open market and foreign exchange trading operations and the provisions of account services to foreign central banks and serves as the Fed’s primary eyes and ears on financial markets.  Prior to joining the Bank in 2007, Dr. Dudley was a partner and managing director at Goldman, Sachs & Company and was the firm’s chief U.S. economist for a decade. Before joining Goldman Sachs in 1986, he was a vice president at the former Morgan Guaranty Trust Company.  Dr. Dudley was also an economist at the Federal Reserve Board from 1981 to 1983.  He received his doctorate in economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1982.



Kelly Ayotte was elected to the United States Senate in 2010, where she was ranked as one of the most bipartisan senators working across party lines. During her tenure in the Senate (2011-2017), Senator Ayotte chaired the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and the Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations.  She also served on several other committees, among them the Budget, Commerce, Science, and Homeland Security Committees.  She is a leading voice on national security and was named by Foreign Policymagazine as one of the top fifty Republicans on national security affairs in the country.  Currently, she is a senior advisor to Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions as well as a member of several corporate boards. Prior to serving in the United States Senate, she served as New Hampshire’s first female attorney general from 2004-2009.  First appointed to that position by a Republican governor, she was twice reappointed by a Democratic governor.  Senator Ayotte earned her J.D. degree from Villanova University School of Law.


Bill Bradley served in the United States Senate from 1979-1997 representing the state of New Jersey.  In 2000, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.  Prior to serving in the Senate, he was an Olympic gold medalist in 1964 and a professional basketball player with the New York Knicks from 1967-1977 during which time they won two NBA championships.  In 1982, he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.  He has authored seven books on American politics, culture and economy, including his latest book, We Can All Do Better.  Currently, Senator Bradley is a managing director of Allen & Company LLC, and he hosts American Voices, a weekly show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio that highlights the remarkable accomplishments of Americans both famous and unknown. He holds a B.A. degree in American History from Princeton University and an M.A. degree from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar.


David Gergen is a professor of public service and founding director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Previously, he served as a White House adviser to four U.S. presidents of both parties:  Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton.  He wrote about those experiences in his New York Timesbest seller, Eyewitness to Power:  The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton.  Starting with The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHourin 1984, he has been a regular commentator on public affairs for thirty years. Currently, he is a senior political analyst for CNN.  Twice he has been a member of election coverage teams that won Peabody awards, and he has contributed to two Emmy award-winning political analysis teams. A native of North Carolina, he is a member of the D.C. Bar, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the U.S. executive committee for the Trilateral commission.  He is an honors graduate of Yale and the Harvard Law School.



Tonya Antle

Bank of America

Laurie and David Benjamin

Boeing Company

Cannery Row Company

City of Monterey

Debra and George W. Couch III

Sherry E. DeBoer

The Eubanks Family Foundation

Georgia Power

Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Associates, Inc.

Kaiser Permanente

Stan McKee

Sharon and Stan Meresman

Montage Health

Sylvia and Leon Panetta

Susan Prest and Commander Allen Sherwood, USN, Ret.

Stanley Zax

Zenith Insurance Company


AT&T California

Ray Franscioni

Kathy and Tom Wiggans


You can watch recordings of the 2021 webinars, by clicking on the event titles below.

Monday, February 22            

The COVID-19 Pandemic – Can We Finally Win the Warwith Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Monday, March 15                

The Biden Administration and Congress – Can We Finally Govern? with John Kasich, Governor of Ohio (2011-2019) and Claire McCaskill, U.S. Senator Missouri (2007-2019).

Monday, April 19           

Allies and Adversaries – Can the U.S. Be a World Leader Again? with John Bolton, U.S. National Security Advisor (2018-2019); Michèle Flournoy, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (2009-2012); and Admiral Mike Mullen, USN, Ret., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2007-2011).

Monday, May 17                 

Restoring Trust in the Presidency – Can We Heal Our Political Divide with with Bill Clinton, President of the United States (1993-2001) and Dan Quayle, Vice President of the United States (1989-1993).