Former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Panetta to Lecture at UM

April 16, 2014

MISSOULA – The University of Montana School of Law will host former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon E. Panetta for “A Conversation with Secretary Leon E. Panetta” at noon Thursday, April 24, in the George and Jane Dennison Theatre. The event is the 2014 Jones-Tamm Lecture, and is free and open to the public.

The conversation will feature Panetta and attorney Robert S. Bennett, a friend of the UM School of Law and member of the Jones-Tamm Committee.

Panetta served under President Barack Obama as the 23rd secretary of defense. During his time in that position he oversaw the final removal of American troops from Iraq and the beginning of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. He led the efforts to develop a new defense strategy to advance greater agility, protect national security and meet fiscal discipline, opened new opportunities for everyone to serve in the military and protect benefits for wounded soldiers and their families.

Before joining the Department of Defense, Panetta served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, and represented California’s 16th – now 17th – Congressional District from 1977 to 1993, serving as House Budget Committee chairman during his final four years in Congress. He also is co-director of the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy. He holds bachelor’s and law degrees from Santa Clara University.

The UM School of Law established the Jones-Tamm Lecture Series in 1997 to honor the memory of William B. Jones and Edward A. Tamm, two distinguished federal judges with strong ties to Montana. Jones practiced in the state from 1931 to 1937 during the early years of his career, while Tamm graduated from Butte Central High School and studied at Carroll College in Helena and UM before embarking on his judicial career in Washington, D.C.

Though they spent the majority of their careers in Washington, D.C., Jones and Tamm never forgot their Montana connections, and the lecture series named for them now attracts leading jurists and scholars to UM to address relevant legal topics, such as judicial ethics, judicial decision-making, and selection and education of judges.

For more information, call Carla Caballero-Jackson, the law school’s director of external relations, at 406-243-6254 or e-mail




Contact: Carla Caballero-Jackson, director of external relations, UM School of Law, 406-243-6254,