Leon Panetta Lecture Series 

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 events for the 2023 season were as follows:*

Monday, March 27, 2023 – 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The Economy and Inflation – Can We Avoid a Recession?

with Michael Boskin, professor of Economics and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George H.W. Bush; John Harwood, journalist and former White House Correspondent; Maya MacGuineas, president, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; and Christina Romer, Garff B. Wilson Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley and former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama.

A recording of the lecture can be viewed below.

Monday, April 17, 2023 – 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  – Democracy vs. Autocracy – Can the U.S. Unify Allies in a Dangerous World? with Robert Gates, U.S. Secretary of Defense (2006-2011); General David Petraeus, U.S. Army (Ret.), Director of the CIA (2011- 2012); and Admiral James Stavridis, U.S. Navy (Ret.), NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (2009-2013).

Monday, May 29, 2023 – 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Message from the Midterms – Will Republicans and Democrats Listen? with John Boehner, U.S. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (2011-2015); Liz Cheney, U.S. Representative (R), Wyoming (2017-2021) (invited); Heidi Heitkamp, U.S. Senator (D), North Dakota (2013-2019); and Steny Hoyer, U.S. Representative (D), Maryland.

Monday, June 12, 2023 – 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  History and a Divided Nation – Can We Survive? with Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University and CNN commentator; Annette Gordon-Reed, American historian and Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University and winner of the Pulitzer Prizein History in 2009 and the National Book Award in 2008, for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family; and  Bob Woodward, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy Awarded

Senators Richard Burr and Jeanne Shaheen,

and Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Bennie Thompson

the Jefferson-Lincoln Awards at Twenty-Second

Evening to Honor Lives of Public Service that was held on

Saturday, November 12, 2022

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy announced the recipients of its 2022 Jefferson-Lincoln Awards. This year the annual awards were presented to U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R) of North Carolina, U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger (R) of Illinois, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D) of New Hampshire and U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson (D) of Mississippi.  The honors were conferred at a black-tie gala dinner held at The Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach on Saturday, November 12, 2022.

Commenting on the honorees, Institute Chairman and Co-Founder Leon E. Panetta said, “governing in our democracy depends on strong bipartisan leadership.  At a time of increasing challenges – from the economy threatened with inflation and a probable recession, to growing inequality, to the loss of critical freedoms and values, the threat to personal security and the threat to national security – we need leadership that is willing to work together. At this critical time, the Panetta Institute honors four leaders who are examples of the bipartisan leadership needed in our democracy.”

The November 12 celebration also served as the premier fundraiser to help support The Panetta Institute for Public Policy and its mission to attract thoughtful men and women to lives of public service, inspiring them to a high standard of conduct and equipping them with the practical skills of self-government.  The gala featured a gourmet four-course meal and award-winning wines.

The Panetta Institute would like to thank their sponsors and supporters for their generous support.

Dignitary Sponsors:

Sherry E. DeBoer

Debra and George Couch III

Gordon and Ronda Eubanks

Cannery Row Company and The Don Chapin Company, Inc.

California State University, Monterey Bay

Susan Prest and Allen Sherwood (IM)

Sponsor of Distinction:

The Frank & Denise Quattrone Foundation; Denise Foderaro and Frank Quattrone, Trustees


Tonya Antle

Beacon Global Strategies

Laurie and David Benjamin

Blue Shield of California

The Boeing Company

California American Water

Chevron Corporation

Dorian Daley and Michael Krautkramer

Dominican University of California


Fenton & Keller

Koret Foundation

Stan McKee

Stan and Sharon Meresman


Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pacific Maritime Association/Sugerman Communications Group

Pebble Beach Company

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation

Susan Prest and Allen Sherwood (IM)

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System

Santa Clara University

Southern Company

Stanley Zax

Zenith Insurance Company


AT&T California

Bank of America Private Bank

Michael and Chris Boskin

CommonSpirit Health

Al Glover and Guest

Kaiser Permanente

Katrina and Luca Maestri

Montage Health

Pacific Coast Building Products, Inc.

Julie Packard

The Panetta Family

Melissa and Shawn Rozsa

Vishal Verma 

The theme for the 2022 series was The 2022 Midterm Elections and the Future of our Democracy and focused on the midterm elections, foreign policy, the economy and voting.

All Four Events in the 2022 Leon Panetta Lecture Series Now Available for Viewing

Click on the event title to watch a recording of the webinar presentation.

Monday, February 28, 6:00 p.m.:  Who Will Win – Democrats, Republicans, Truth or Fear? featuring JAMES CARVILLE—Democratic Strategist and Political Contributor for CNN and KARL ROVE—Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy (2005-2007) and Political Advisor to President George W. Bush.


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.

Monday, March 14, 6:00 p.m.:  Who Will Lead The World in the Fight Between Democracy and Autocracy? featuring HILLARY CLINTON, Secretary of State (2009-2012) and DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2010-2016)


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.

Monday, April 19, 6:00 p.m:  Who Will Deal with the Challenges in the Economy – Inflation, Inequality and the Debt? [part 2] featuring JASON FURMAN, Chair, Council of Economic Advisors (2013-2017) and WILLIAM DUDLEY, President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York (2009-2018).


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.

Monday, May 2, 6:00 p.m.:  Who Will Vote and Will Every Vote Count? featuring KELLY AYOTTE, U.S. Senator (R) New Hampshire (2011-2017), BILL BRADLEY, U.S. Senator (D) New Jersey (1979-1997) and DAVID GERGEN, Presidential Advisor and Senior Political Analyst for CNN.


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.


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




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).