Secretary Leon E Panetta to keynote at the Summit

We are delighted that Secretary Leon E Panetta will be the keynote speaker on Day 2 at the Salinas Biological Summit.

Unanimously confirmed in 2011 by the U.S. Senate as the twenty-third Secretary of Defense, Leon E. Panetta has had a fifty-year career in public service at the highest levels of government.  As Secretary of Defense, he established a new defense strategy and expanded service opportunities for women and others regardless of race, creed, color or gender.  As Director of the CIA, he successfully led the operation that brought Osama bin Laden to justice.

Secretary Panetta began his public service career in 1964 as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, receiving the Army Commendation Medal, and then served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Tom Kuchel.  In 1969, he was appointed Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, where he was responsible for enforcing equal education laws.

Elected to Congress in 1976, Secretary Panetta represented the California Central Coast district for sixteen years and created the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.  In 1993, he was sworn in as Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for the Clinton administration and later was appointed White House chief of staff, working to achieve a balanced federal budget.

In 1997, Secretary Panetta returned to his home town of Monterey to establish and co-direct The Panetta Institute for Public Policy, a non-partisan, not-for-profit study center that seeks to inspire men and women to lives of public service.

He chronicles his life in public service in his best-selling memoir Worthy Fights, which was published by Penguin Press in the fall of 2014. 

At the Summit, Secretary Panetta will talk about the importance of Food Security and Innovation.

We are honored the Secretary can join us.


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