Panetta, Leon Edward, 1938–, U.S. politician and government official, b. Monterey, Calif., grad. Univ. of Santa Clara, Calif. (B.A., 1960), Santa Clara Law School (1963). After serving in the army (1963–65) and working in several government posts, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1976 and reelected eight times. From 1989 to 1993 he chaired the House budget committee, and he subsequently served as director (1933–94) of the Office of Management and Budget and as chief of staff (1994–96) in the White House under President Bill Clinton. An advocate of public service and ocean policy reform after leaving government and a member of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group (2006) under President George W. Bush, Panetta was named head of the Central Intelligence Agency in 2009 under President Barack Obama; from 2011 to 2013 he was secretary of defense.
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