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Hon. Leon Panetta

The Honorable Leon Panetta currently serves as Chair of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit center that seeks to instill the virtues and values of public service in young professionals. Prior to this, he served as the Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2013, and as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, first appointed by President Obama in 2009. He served as White House chief of staff for President Clinton from 1994 to 1997, and as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Mr. Panetta served as United States Representative from California from 1977 to 1993, for more than eight terms. Mr. Panetta’s long career in public service is punctuated with many political accomplishments and characterizes a results-driven approach to public policy across many sectors, including ocean and coastal stewardship, economic growth, national security, civil rights, and fiscal responsibility. During Mr. Panetta’s tenure in Congress, he served as chairman of the House Committee on the Budget (1989-1993). With his commitment to ocean stewardship, he was the primary author for legislation to establish the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Among his many positions outside the executive and legislative branches of government, Mr. Panetta served as Chair of the Pew Oceans Commission, which produced a report and recommendations that still guides ocean policy today.

Mr. Panetta served on the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange; the National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; the Fleishman-Hillard International Advisory Board; and the National Steinbeck Center. He was Chairman of the National Board of Advisors of the Center for National Policy.

Dedicated to his home in Monterey and central California, Mr. Panetta also served on boards for the University of California Santa Cruz Foundation, Santa Clara University, the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Mr. Panetta has received dozens of awards for his public service across marine stewardship, finance and economics, and national security and defense.

Prior to entering politics, Mr. Panetta served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and received the Army Commendation Medal. He graduated, magna cum laude, from Santa Clara University in 1960. He received his J.D. from Santa Clara University Law School, where he was editor of the Law Review.