Business & Government

Leon E. Panetta To Give 2019 Cameron Fellows Lecture

The former Secretary of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency director and White House chief of staff will speak on the Texas A&M campus Oct. 10.
By Texas A&M University Bush School of Government & Public Service Staff September 30, 2019

Leon Panetta speaks at a podium
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta speaks during the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He will give the 2019 Cameron Fellows Lecture on Oct. 10.

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Leon Panetta, who served in two presidential administrations as well as in Congress, will present the Bush School of Government & Public Service’s 2019 Cameron Fellows Lecture Oct. 10 at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center on the Texas A&M University campus.

Panetta’s lecture, “The Challenges of U.S. National Security Decision Making,” is set for 6 p.m. following a 5:30 p.m. reception. Registration is required for the event.

Following his service in the United States Army, Panetta joined the staff of U.S. Sen. Tom Kuchel of California. In 1969, he was appointed director of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare’s Office for Civil Rights, and later served as executive assistant to the mayor of New York City. Panetta practiced law in Monterey, California until his election to the United States House of Representatives in 1976.

He was appointed director of the Office of Management and Budget for the Clinton administration in 1993, and in 1994 was named the president’s chief of staff. After leaving the White House in 1997, Panetta and his wife, Sylvia, established the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay. The institute is a nonprofit study center that seeks to attract men and women to public service.

Panetta later served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama, where he ran the operation that brought Osama bin Laden to justice. Later, as Secretary of Defense, Panetta led the effort to develop a new defense strategy, helped bring two wars to an end and created opportunities for everyone to serve in the military.

The William Waldo Cameron Distinguished Fellows Program was established by an endowment to the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation from Flora Cameron Crichton as a memorial to her father. The Cameron Fellows Program is intended to bring remarkable leaders and consequential ideas from the frontiers of industry, government and academia to the classrooms of the Bush School.

Those who wish to attend the lecture should register online.

Media contact: Mary Hein, Bush School Communications and External Affairs, 979-862-8007,

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