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Leon E. Panetta
05panetta
21st Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Incumbent
Assumed Office
February 13, 2009
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Michael Hayden
Suceeded by Incumbent
18th White House Chief of Staff
In Office
July 17, 1994 – January 20, 1997
President Bill Clinton
Preceeded By Mack McLarty
Succeeded By Erskine Bowles
29th Director of the Office of Management and Budget
In Office
January 21, 1993 – October 1994
Preceeded By Cal Dooley
Succeeded By Sam Farr
Member of the United States House of Representatives from California's 16th District
In Office
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1993
Preceeded By Burt L. Talcott
Succeeded By Don Edwards
Personal Info
Born June 28, 1938

Monterey, California

Nationality United States Flag American
Party Democratic
Profession Lawyer, Professor

Leon Edward Panetta (born June 28, 1938) is the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. An American Democratic politician, lawyer, and professor, Panetta served as President Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997 and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993. He is the founder and director of the Panetta Institute, served as Distinguished Scholar to Chancellor Charles B. Reed of the California State University System and professor of public policy at Santa Clara University. In January 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Panetta for the post of CIA Director; he was confirmed by the full Senate on February 12, 2009, and assumed the office the next day.

Political CareerEdit

Panetta started in politics in 1966 as a legislative assistant to Republican Senator Thomas Kuchel, the United States Senate Minority Whip from California, whom Panetta has called "a tremendous role model".

In 1969 he became the assistant to Robert H. Finch, Secretary of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under the Nixon administration. Soon thereafter he was appointed Director of the Office for Civil Rights.

Panetta chose to enforce civil rights and equal education laws, even under alleged political pressure not to from then-president Nixon. Robert Mardian said of Panetta: "Doesn't he understand Nixon promised the Southern delegates he would stop enforcing the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts?". Secretary Robert Finch and Assistant Secretary John Veneman refused to fire Panetta, threatening to resign if forced to do so. A few weeks later in 1970, Panetta resigned and left Washington to work as Executive Assistant for John Lindsay, the Republican Mayor of New York City. He wrote about this experience in his 1971 book Bring Us Together: The Nixon Team and the Civil Rights Retreat.

He moved back to Monterey to practice law at Panetta, Thompson & Panetta from 1971 through to 1976.

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