Leon Edward Panetta was appointed by President Bill Clinton to be his Chief of Staff on July 17, 1994.
Prior to that appointment, Leon Panetta served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He was confirmed by the Senate for that job on January 21, 1993.
From 1977 to 1993, Leon Panetta was a United States Representative from California's 16th (now 17th) congressional district. He served eight full terms and had begun serving his ninth when he became OMB Director.
From 1989 to 1993, Leon Panetta was chairman of the House Committee on the Budget. He also served on the Committee from 1979 to 1985. He chaired the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and Nutrition, the House Administration Committee's Subcommittee on Personnel and Police, and the Select Committee on Hunger's Task Force on Domestic Hunger.
Leon Panetta authored the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988; the Fair Employment Practices Resolution, extending civil rights protections to House employees for the first time; numerous successful measures to protect the California coast from offshore oil and gas drilling, measures that established Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement of hospice care for the terminally ill, and other measures on a variety of education, health and defense issues. He was a key participant in the 1990 Budget Summit, as well as other budget summits of the 1980's.
Leon Panetta was born in Monterrey, California, on June 28, 1938, and continues to make his permanent residence in Carmel Valley, California. In 1960 he received his B.A. magna cum laude, from Santa Clara University. In 1963, he received his J.D. from Santa Clara University Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review. Leon Leon Panetta served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1966, and received the Army Commendation Medal.
In 1966, Leon Panetta served in Washington as legislative assistant to Senator Thomas Kuchel of California, the Senate Minority Whip. In 1969, he became the special assistant to the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and then Director of the U.S. Office of Civil Rights, where he was responsible for School desegregation orders. In 1970, Leon Panetta served as Executive Assistant to the Mayor. In 1971, Leon Panetta returned to California, where he practiced law with the Monterrey firm of Panetta, Thompson and Panetta until he was elected to Congress in 1976.
Leon Panetta is the author of Bring Us Together, published in 1971, an account of his service as Director of the Office of Civil Rights. He is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently, in 1993, the Peter Burnett Award for Distinguished Public Service, and the Coastal Zone Foundation Coastal and Ocean Management Award in 1991.
Leon Panetta is married to Sylvia Marie Varni, who administered his district offices during his service in Congress. They have three grown sons and one grandchild.