Leon E. Panetta

May 17 2024


The Security Foundation is thrilled to announce that Leon E. Panetta, former Secretary of Defense, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and renowned leader in public service, will deliver the keynote address at the 13th Annual TSF Dinner Celebrating Public-Private Partnerships.

As Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2013, Panetta led efforts to develop a new defense strategy, conduct critical counterterrorism operations, strengthen U.S. alliances, and open military service opportunities regardless of gender or sexual orientation. His distinguished five-decade career in public service also included serving as Director of the CIA, where he oversaw the operation to locate and capture Osama bin Laden.

The dinner will be held on Wednesday, November 20, 2024, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. during the OSAC Annual Briefing. This premier networking event for the global security profession attracts over 1,000 attendees each year.

In his keynote, Secretary Panetta will draw upon his unparalleled experience at the highest levels of government to provide insights on leadership, international affairs, and emerging threats. Known for his integrity and candor, he will share lessons from the front lines of policymaking during pivotal moments in recent history. Attendees can expect an engaging discussion filled with candid anecdotes and interesting perspectives.

“We are honored to host Secretary Panetta as our featured speaker,” said Dave Komendat, President of The Security Foundation. “His decades of dedicated service and wealth of expertise will make for a truly memorable evening and we are thrilled for our attendees to have the opportunity to hear of Secretary Panetta’s remarkable experience.”

Prior to the dinner, don’t miss the valuable sponsorship opportunities available. Sponsorships offer premier branding, networking, and hospitality benefits. Act now as these packages are selling quickly. Visit to review the sponsor levels and reserve your spot today.

For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Siobhan Clune, TSF Associate Executive Director, at [email protected].

About Leon E. Panetta
Born in Monterey, California, Leon Panetta’s life has been defined by an unwavering commitment to public service over a remarkable 50-year career. A Santa Clara University School of Law graduate, Secretary Panetta began his public service career in 1964 as a U.S. Army intelligence officer receiving the Army Commendation Medal before going to work in Washington as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senate minority whip Tom Kuchel of California.

In 1969, he was appointed director of the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, where he was responsible for ensuring equal opportunity in public education, and later he served as executive assistant to the mayor of New York City. After returning to Monterey to practiced law until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, he then served his Central Coast district in Congress for sixteen years.

Secretary Panetta left Congress to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget for the incoming Clinton administration in 1993. He was pivotal in developing the policies that led to a balanced federal budget and eventual budget surpluses and the following year he accepted appointment as the president’s chief of staff. During this time he is credited with bringing order and focus to White House operations and policy making.

Upon leaving the Clinton administration in 1997, Secretary Panetta joined with his wife Sylvia to create and co-direct The Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay. Reflecting the Secretary’s ideals and personal example, the nonpartisan, not-forprofit study 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 returned to public service at the start of the Barack Obama administration as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, where he supervised the operation to find and bring the international terrorist Osama bin Laden to justice. Then, as secretary of defense, he led efforts to develop a new defense strategy, conduct critical counter terrorism operations, strengthen U.S. alliances, and open military service opportunities to Americans regardless of gender or sexual orientation. He chronicles his life in public service in his best-selling memoir Worthy Fights, which was published by Penguin Press in 2014.

Over the years Secretary Panetta has served on numerous boards and commissions. He co-chaired California Forward, the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, and Governor Schwarzenegger’s Council on Base Support and Retention. In 2006 he served on the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan commission seeking a new course for the war in Iraq. At present, he serves on the boards of directors for Oracle, Blue Shield of California and as co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Defense Personnel Task Force and the Center for Strategic and International Studies Commission on Countering Violent Extremism.

Secretary Panetta is the recipient of hundreds of awards and honors. Recent examples include the California Teachers Association’s Friends of Education Award; the Judicial Council of California’s Stanley Mosk Defender of Justice Award; the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award; the Sons of Italy Foundation’s National Education & Leadership Award; the Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Policy; the Intelligence and National Security Alliance’s William Oliver Baker Award; the OSS Society’s William J. Donovan Award; and the National Defense Industrial Association’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Award.