Leon Panetta’s long service to our country is surely unique in the number of incredibly high level and tough assignments he has held and held to acclaim. A lawyer, he has directed the U.S. office for Civil Rights. He represented his Central California district in Congress for 16 years, rising to the chairmanship of the Budget Committee. He headed the Office of Management and Budget early in Bill Clinton’s presidency, serving later as his Chief of Staff. President Obama brought him back to government first as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and later as Secretary of Defense. Secretary Panetta obviously never feared a challenge.
Secretary Panetta and his wife Sylvia established and co-direct The Panetta Institute for Public Policy at Cal State Monterey Bay. Reflecting his ideals and personal example, the nonpartisan center seeks to attract thoughtful men and women to lives of public service and prepare them for the policy challenges of the future.
Secretary Panetta will be on the Boise State campus January 18th to receive the Frank and Bethine Church Award for Public Service at a dinner in his honor. But he is on Reader’s Corner to discuss his book, “Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace.”