Panetta Lecture Series

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy has graciously made available to SF State students a limited number of free seats for this year's Leon Panetta Lecture Series. The series will combine small group exercises led by Panetta Institute scholars and discussions among thought leaders moderated by Leon Panetta, former secretary of defense and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

ICCE is the SF State campus lead for the Panetta Institute programs. If you have questions regarding tickets to the events or lectures listed below, please contact the Panetta Institute for Public Policy directly.

2024 Lecture Series: The Challenges to Democracy at Home and Abroad

  • All events will be held at the Monterey Conference Center on Monday afternoons between 12:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. (registration opens at 11:15 a.m.).

  • Location: Monterey Conference Center,1 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940 in the Colton Rooms on the third floor. Parking is available in the West Garage at a charge of $3.00. Map

  • Attendees must arrange their own transportation. 

  • The lectures are open to all currently enrolled SF State students but seats are available only to the first 20 students who RSVP for each day. Students must RSVP.

Monday, March 11, 2024

The Challenge of Artificial Intelligence – A Threat or a Blessing to Humanity? with Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer (2009-2012); Jennifer Golbeck, Ph.D., Professor, College of Information Studies and Director of Social Intelligence Lab, University of Maryland; Ethan Mollick, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; and Admiral Michael Rogers, (USN Ret.), Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command (2014-2018) 

Monday, April 1 2024

The Challenges of Immigration – Reform or Chaos in 2024? with Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California (2013-2020); Secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2009-2013); Governor of Arizona (2003-2009); Julián Castro, Secretary of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (2014-2017); Mayor of San Antonio (2009-2014); Rick Perry, Secretary of U.S. Department of Energy (2017-2019); Governor of Texas (2000-2015); and Asa Hutchinson, Governor of Arkansas (2015-2023); Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security (2003-2005)

The Challenge of War in the Middle East – Will There Be Peace or More War? with Tom Nides, U.S. Ambassador to Israel (2021-2023); Dennis Ross, Special Advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia for U.S. Department of State (2009); Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State (1989-1992); General Tod Wolters, (USAF Ret.), NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (2019-2022); and Anja Manuel, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary, U.S. Department of State (2005-2007)

The Challenge of the 2024 Election – A United or Divided America? with Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations (2003-2023); Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State (2001-2003); David Axelrod, Political Commentator, CNN; Senior Advisor to President Obama (2009-2011); and Reince Priebus, White House Chief of Staff (2017); Chairman, Republican National Committee (2011-2017)

2024 Afternoon Student Program

The Panetta Institute also welcomes high school, college and military students from throughout the Central Coast region and beyond to hear from and ask questions of the same speakers that appear at the evening Lecture Series at the The Afternoon Student Program. This opportunity is education at its most illuminating—first-hand interactions with major leaders and thinkers of our day.  Students leave engaged and inspired, having discovered a new relevance of public service careers and having observed first-hand positive examples of leadership and civic debate.

  • These Afternoon Student Programs will begin with registration at 11:30 a.m. at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey.  
  • From 12:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Panetta Institute professors will facilitate an academic exercise focusing on the lecture topic.  This session informs students about the issues to be discussed and encourages them to develop questions and comments for interactive dialogue with the speakers. 
  • After a fifteen-minute break, the lecture begins at 2:45 p.m. with the guest speakers and Secretary Panetta presenting a discussion amongst themselves.  During the second half they will answer the students’ questions. 
  • The program will end at 4:30 p.m.

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