When Leon Panetta was a top official in U.S. intelligence and national security, an off-hand comment about Pakistani authorities knowing where Osama bin Laden was hiding was considered a major controversy. Times have changed, as evidenced by the deterioration of the relationship between the White House and the intelligence community—and where controversies seem to emerge daily.
In a rare public interview, Panetta, a former Congressman (D-Calif.), White House Chief of Staff, CIA Director, and Secretary of Defense, will face questioning from Larry Pfeiffer, director of the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security at the Schar School of Policy and Government. Panetta will answer questions from the audience after the discussion.
This virtual event takes place Thursday, December 17, at 7p.m. ET, and is open to the public. Free, but registration is required.
“General Hayden and I are very excited to host Secretary Panetta at the Hayden Center for this timely discussion about the incoming Biden administration,” said Pfeiffer. “There are few Americans today with his breadth of experience…This is a man who devoted his life to serving the public good, which should inspire our undergraduate and graduate students looking to embark on a similar path. We hope many of them take advantage of this great end-of-semester event and join us.”
The wide-ranging conversation will address President-Elect Joe Biden as he prepares to take the highest office in the land; Biden comes to the position with more foreign policy experience than any other president over the last three decades. Biden also brings with him an experienced and diverse team of professionals.
The Trump administration dealt with more than one national security challenge over the past four years, such as a rising China, competition with Russia, and a nuclear Iran. However, there are new non-conventional national security challenges that Biden’s team will face, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, and climate change looming on the horizon.
Panetta, with all of his years of experience, is quite uniquely capable to discuss these challenges, and provide possible solutions.
Schar School Fact: The school is ranked No. 2 in the world for security studies programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2019).