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Leon Panetta: Worthy Fights

Leon Panetta reflects on his eight terms in the Congress of the United States as White House Chief of Staff, Director of the CIA, and Secretary of Defense.
Image: Leon Panetta
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta delivers his speech to Georgetown University students and faculty on leadership and public service in Washington, on Feb. 6, 2013.Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP file

Leon Panetta is one of the most distinguished and most accomplished public servants in American history. Leon was born and raised in Monterey, California, the place where his father, an Italian immigrant and the youngest of 13 children, ultimately settled. Carmelo Panetta could not have dreamed that his son, Leon, would serve eight terms in the Congress of the United States, as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, as the White House Chief of Staff, as the Director of the CIA, and as the Secretary of Defense. It has been a remarkable career and a remarkable life for Leon Panetta – a kind, humble, thoughtful, intelligent, and considerate man.

Leon shares with host Chuck Rosenberg reflections on his extraordinary and distinguished career in public service. He is also the author of the book, Worthy Fights. If you have thoughtful feedback on this episode or others, please email us at

Read the transcript here.

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