Angelico Hall, Dominican University
Tickets: $40 (includes a complimentary signed book)
Online ticketing is no longer available for this event, but tickets can still be purchased at the door.
It could be said that Leon Panetta has had two of the
most consequential careers of any American public servant in the past
fifty years. His first career, beginning as an army intelligence officer
and including a distinguished run as one of Congress's most powerful
and respected members, lasted thirty-five years and culminated in his
transformational role as Clinton's budget czar and White House Chief of
Staff. He then "retired" to establish the Panetta Institute with his
wife of fifty years, Sylvia; to serve on the Iraq Study Group; and to
protect his beloved California coastline. But in 2009, he accepted what
many said was a thankless task: returning to public office as the
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, taking it from a state of
turmoil after the Bush-era torture debates and moving it back to the
vital center of America's war against Al Qaeda, including the campaign
that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. And then, in the wake of bin
Laden's death, Panetta became the U.S. Secretary of Defense, inheriting
two troubled wars in a time of austerity and painful choices.
Like his career, Worthy Fights is a reflection of Panetta’s values. It is imbued with the frank, grounded, and often quite funny spirit of a man who never lost touch with where he came from: his family’s walnut farm in beautiful Carmel Valley, California. It is also a testament to a lost kind of political leadership, which favors progress and duty to country over partisanship. Panetta is a Democrat who pushed for balanced budgets while also expanding care for the elderly and sick; a devout Catholic who opposes the death penalty but had to weigh every drone strike from 2009 through 2011. Throughout his career, Panetta’s polestar has been his belief that a public servant’s real choice is between leadership or crisis. Troubles always come about through no fault of one’s own, but most can be prevented with courage and foresight.
Leon Panetta served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009–2011, and as secretary of defense from 2011–2013. An Italian American Democrat, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977–1993, the director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1993–1994, and President Clinton’s chief of staff from 1994–1997. He is the founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, and has served as professor of public policy at his alma mater, Santa Clara University.
"The inspiring and revelatory autobiography of the defense secretary and CIA director who led the intelligence war that killed Bin Laden, among many important roles in a legendary career"