Leon Panetta

Former Secretary of Defense

The United States

As Secretary of Defense and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama, Leon Panetta shares with audiences his candid insights on global politics and world affairs, U.S. intelligence, defense and cyber security strategies and the global economic challenges of the 21st century. Commended by President Obama as “a man who hasn’t simply lived up to the American Dream, but who’s helped us protect it,” Panetta’s successes in office are marked with major historical milestones such as guiding the military’s formal exit from Iraq, beginning troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and ending a NATO campaign which ridded Libya of Moammar Gadhafi. At the helm of the Central Intelligence Agency during the height of the Iraq war, Panetta was most notably responsible for overseeing the operation that resulted in bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. As Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, Panetta is credited with being a powerful negotiator in balancing budgets, honed while serving as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and his years chairing the House Budget Committee while a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Lauded for his integrity, honesty and character, Panetta served as an Army intelligence officer and received the Army Commendation Medal along with numerous other awards throughout his distinguished career. Panetta is co-founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, a nonpartisan study center which helps meet the challenges of the 21st century.

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