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2014 Jones Tamm Lecture

A Conversation with Secretary Leon E. Panetta

April 24, 2014 at the Dennison Theatre 
Noon - 1 pm

Leon Panetta

Leon Panetta served as the 23rd Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2013. He oversaw the final removal of American troops from Iraq as well as the beginning of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan. He led the effort to develop a new defense strategy to advance greater agility, protect national security and meet fiscal discipline, opened up new opportunities for everyone to serve in the military and protected benefits for wounded warriors and their families.

Before joining the Department of Defense, Mr. Panetta served as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009 to 2011. Mr. Panetta led the agency and managed human intelligence and open source collection programs on behalf of the intelligence community, placed an emphasis on more racial diversity and increased language training for officers in the agency. Most notably, he is responsible for overseeing the operation that resulted in bringing Osama bin Laden to justice.

Mr. Panetta has dedicated much of his life to public service. Before joining CIA, he spent 10 years co-directing with his wife, Sylvia, the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay. The Institute is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit center that seeks to instill in young men and women the virtues and values of public service. In March 2006, he was chosen as a member of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan committee established at the urging of Congress to conduct an independent assessment of the war in Iraq.

From July 1994 to January 1997, Mr. Panetta served as Chief of Staff to President William Clinton. Prior to that, he was Director of the Office of Management and Budget, a position that built on his years of work on the House Budget Committee. Mr. Panetta represented California’s 16th (now 17th) Congressional District from 1977 to 1993, rising to House Budget Committee chairman during his final four years in Congress.

Early in his career, Mr. Panetta served as a legislative assistant to Senator Thomas H. Kuchel of California; special assistant to the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare; director of the U.S. Office for Civil Rights; and executive assistant to Mayor John Lindsay of New York. He also spent five years in private law practice.

He served as an Army intelligence officer from 1964 to 1966 and received the Army Commendation Medal.

Mr. Panetta holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a law degree, both from Santa Clara University. He was born on June 28, 1938 in Monterey, where his Italian immigrant parents operated a restaurant. Later, they purchased a farm in Carmel Valley, a place Secretary and Mrs. Panetta continue to call home. The Panettas have three grown sons and six grandchildren.

The history of the Judge William B. Jones and Judge Edward A. Tamm Judicial Lecture Series

The Judge William B. Jones and Judge Edward A. Tamm Lecture Series honors the memory of two distinguished jurists who had strong Montana ties. They left their mark, a very positive mark, on the federal judiciary. Both of them established themselves as judges who were deeply committed to improving the administration of our judicial system and preserving and enhancing the rule of law in our society. In view of their exemplary commitment to the administration of justice, their deep interest in lawyers and in particular, law students and members of the bar, this lecture series was founded.

— Robert S. Bennett, Esq.

Judge William B. Jones

Judge William B. JonesWilliam B. Jones was born and reared in Iowa. He attended the University of Notre Dame and played football under the fabled coach Knute Rockne.

On the recommendation of Coach Rockne, Carroll College hired William B. Jones in 1931 to be the College’s football coach. Jones also practiced law in Helena from 1931 to 1937. He served as a special assistant to the Attorney General of Montana from 1935 to 1937. Jones married the former Alice Danicich of Anaconda.

In 1937, Jones moved to Washington, D.C., to join the Justice Department. Jones worked for the government in various capacities and later engaged in private practice. Under the sponsorship of Montana Senator Mike Mansfield, President John F. Kennedy appointed Jones to be a district judge for the District of Columbia.

Judge Jones served as an active judge from 1962 until 1977, when he took senior status. Judge Jones served as Chief Judge of the D.C. District Court. While on the bench, Judge Jones became highly esteemed among his colleagues as well as by members of the bar.

Judge Edward A. Tamm

Judge Edward A. TammEdward A. Tamm grew up in Butte and graduated from Butte Central High School. He attended Mount St. Charles College (later Carroll College) in Helena and The University of Montana. In 1930, Tamm was appointed Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During his eighteen-year career with the FBI, he was involved in the famous Lindbergh kidnapping case, and coordinated the capture of John Dillinger. FBI Director Hoover personally commended Tamm for his supervision of the Lindbergh case, noting that Tamm contributed materially to its successful prosecution.

In 1948, President Truman nominated Tamm to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge Tamm won a reputation as a trial judge of great fairness and firmness. In 1965, President Johnson appointed Judge Tamm to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Chief Justice Warren E. Burger appointed Judge Tamm Chief Judge of the Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals. Judge Tamm served in that position from 1972 until 1981. Judge Tamm was a close friend of Montana Judge William J. Jameson, who often participated on Emergency Court of Appeals panels.

Judge Tamm served as Chairman of the Judicial Conference Ethics Review Committee from 1969 to 1978, as Chairman of the Judicial Ethics Committee from 1978 to 1985, and as Co-chairman of the Joint Committee on the Code of Judicial Conduct.

The University of Montana School of Law gratefully acknowledges those who have generously committed their time, energy, and financial support to create the Judge William B. Jones and Judge Edward A. Tamm Judicial Lecture Series. We especially appreciate Robert S. Bennett’s vision and leadership in creating this lecture series.  We also thank Milton Datsopoulos who chaired the Montana Development Committee.

The Lecture Series

Attorney General Eric Holder
February 9, 2011

The Honorable Antonin Scalia
September 24, 2008


William J. Bennett | March 6, 2002

Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr.
September 13, 2007


Louis J. Freeh | October 5, 2000

The Honorable Thomas F. Hogan
April 12, 2005


Lloyd N. Cutler | April 6, 2000

United States Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson
September 16, 2003


The Honorable Clarence Thomas
April 13, 1999

The Honorable Stephen G. Breyer
September 11, 2002


The Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor
September 18, 1997