Leon Panetta in conversation with Jim Newton

Friday, October 17, 7:30 p.m.

Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace

Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway St., Redwood City 

We are so honored to bring Leon Panetta to the Peninsula to celebrate his 50 years of public service, and the publication of his forthcoming autobiography, Worthy Fights.

With the current state of politics in Washington DC and turmoil in many parts of the world, now is the perfect time to hear from former White House Chief of Staff, former Director of the CIA and former Secretary of Defense, and the man who has been called, “the consummate straight shooter.”

Like his career, Worthy Fights is a reflection of Panetta’s values. It is imbued with the frank, grounded, and often quite funny spirit of a man who never lost touch with where he came from: his family’s walnut farm in Carmel Valley, where as a boy, he worked alongside his father and brother. With typical candor and humor, he recalls that his father often told him that he was well trained for a career in Washington as he'd been "dodging nuts" since childhood.

A young Panetta was appointed the Director of the Office of Civil Rights in 1969 where he was responsible for enforcing equal education laws during a tumultuous time in American education. He went on to represent Monterey county in Congress for 16 years, followed by positions as Budget Director and White House Chief of Staff under President Clinton, bringing a focus on policy and stability to the White House . In 2009, coming out of "retirement" Panetta accepted what many said was a thankless task, returning to public office as the Director of the CIA during a time of turmoil, then serving as Secretary of Defense, inheriting two troubled wars in a time of austerity and painful choices.

Leon Panetta served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009–2011, and as secretary of defense from 2011–2013. An Italian American Democrat, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977–1993, the director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1993–1994, and President Clinton’s chief of staff from 1994–1997. He is the founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, and has served as professor of public policy at his alma mater, Santa Clara University.

Jim Newton is editor at large of the Los Angeles Times, where he has worked for twenty-five years as a reporter, editor, bureau chief, and columnist. He is the author of two critically acclaimed biographies, Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made and Eisenhower: The White House Years.

Event date: 
Friday, October 17, 2014 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1010 El Camino Real
94025-4349 Menlo Park