Leon Edward Panetta (born June 28, 1938) is an American politician who has served in several different public office positions, including the Secretary of Defense, Director of the CIA, White House Chief of Staff, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and as a U.S.
Representative from California.
A Democrat, Panetta was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993, served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1993 to 1994, and as President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997.
He co-founded the Panetta Institute for Public Policy and served as a Distinguished Scholar to Chancellor Charles B.
Reed of the California State University System and as a professor of public policy at Santa Clara University.
In January 2009, newly elected President Barack Obama nominated Panetta for the post of CIA Director.
Panetta was confirmed by the full Senate in February 2009.
As director of the CIA, Panetta oversaw the operation that brought down international terrorist Osama bin Laden.
On April 28, 2011, Obama announced the nomination of Panetta as Defense Secretary, to replace the retiring Robert Gates.
In June the Senate confirmed Panetta unanimously and he assumed the office on July 1, 2011.
David Petraeus took over as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on September 6, 2011.Since retiring as Secretary of Defense in 2013, Panetta has served as Chairman of The Panetta Institute for Public Policy, located at California State University, Monterey Bay, a campus of the California State University that he helped establish during his tenure as congressman.
The Institute is dedicated to motivating and preparing people for lives of public service and helping them to become more knowledgeably engaged in the democratic process.
He also serves on a number of boards and commissions and frequently writes and lectures on public policy issues.