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Leon Panetta to Deliver Keynote Address at Annual SIA Award Dinner

Former defense secretary, CIA director, OMB director, and White House chief of staff to weigh in on importance of semiconductor industry to America and the world

Published Thursday, August 13, 2015 11:00 am

WASHINGTON—Aug. 13, 2015—The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, today announced former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will deliver the keynote address at the upcoming SIA Award Dinner, taking place on Thursday, Dec. 3 in San Jose, Calif. Mr. Panetta, who has also served as CIA director, White House chief of staff, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and as a member of Congress, will offer insight on how the strength of U.S. technology, and a vibrant U.S. semiconductor industry in particular, are critical to our country’s standing in the world and to our economy and national security.

“Leon Panetta is one of America’s most respected leaders and experts on foreign policy,” said John Neuffer, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association. “The semiconductor industry is a global industry with global challenges. We must ensure smart government policies are in place here at home so our industry can remain strong, and we must work closely with counterparts overseas to ensure we can play on a level playing field in the global markets. Given Mr. Panetta’s extensive and diverse experiences on the domestic and international stages, we very much look forward to his keen perspectives on these matters as we welcome him as the keynote presenter at this year’s SIA Award Dinner.”

Mr. Panetta has dedicated much of his life to public service. He served as the 23rd defense secretary from July 2011 to February 2013. Before joining the Department of Defense, Mr. Panetta served as the director of the CIA from February 2009 to June 2011. Previously, 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 the virtues and values of public service in young men and women.

From July 1994 to January 1997, Mr. Panetta served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. Prior to that, he was director of OMB, 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. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a law degree, both from Santa Clara University. 

The SIA Award Dinner also will feature the presentation of the semiconductor industry’s highest honor, the Robert N. Noyce Award. 

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