Commencement Speaker – Leon Panetta BA ’60, JD ’63
Leon Edward Panetta began his long and distinguished public service career in 1964 as a U.S. Army intelligence officer, receiving the Army Commendation Medal. Upon his discharge, he served in Washington as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senate minority whip Tom Kuchel of California. In 1969, Panetta was appointed director of the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, and later he served as executive assistant to the mayor of New York City. He returned to Monterey, where he practiced law until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976 and represented his district for 16 years. Under President Clinton, Panetta served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (1993-4) and White House Chief of Staff (1994-7). He returned to California in 1997 and, with his wife, Sylvia, established The Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay. He served in the Obama Administration as U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2011-13, and as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009-11. The recipient of hundreds of awards and honors, he has been a member of numerous boards and commissions during his career, including his current service on the boards of directors for Oracle and Blue Shield of California. He previously served as Distinguished Scholar to Chancellor Charles B. Reed of the California State University System and professor of public policy at Santa Clara University, and he served on SCU’s Board of Trustees from 1988 to 2009. He is the author of Worthy Fights (Penguin, 2014), a memoir about his life in public service. Panetta earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Juris Doctor degree, both from Santa Clara University. Leon and Sylvia Panetta have three sons, Christopher, Carmelo and James J.D. ’96 (who was sworn in as a Congressman representing Monterey County in January), and six grandchildren.
Other Commencement Events
Friday, May 19, 2017: Commencement Liturgy, Mission Church. Mass starts at 4:00 with the Faculty reception to immediately follow at the Adobe Lodge.