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Arlington, VA - Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Leon E. Panetta will present the keynote address at the National Grocers Association's (NGA) 2015 NGA Show in Las Vegas, February 8-11, 2015.
Panetta served as a Member of the House of Representatives from California's 16th (now 17th District) from 1977-1993, and has a distinguished resume of service at the highest levels of American government. The son of Italian immigrants who settled in Monterey, CA where they operated a restaurant, Panetta is a dynamic speaker who has engaged with Americans across the U.S. on issues from the economy to national security to the environment.
"We are excited that Secretary Panetta will keynote our 2015 annual show," said NGA President and CEO Peter J. Larkin. "One purpose of the show is to foster dialogue and insight about the current political and economic issues and how they affect independent grocers. I can't think of anyone more qualified and able than Leon Panetta to stimulate such a conversation."
Panetta served as the 23rd Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2013. Before joining the Defense Department, he served as Director of the CIA from 2009 to 2011 and as Director, oversaw the operation that brought Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to justice.
From July 1994 to January 1997, Panetta was White House Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton. Prior to holding that post, he served as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, a position that built on his years of work as the Chairman of the Budget Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.
An Army veteran and attorney, Panetta holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science and a law degree from Santa Clara University. Panetta has written about his wide-ranging and vital career in public service in his autobiography, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace, to be published in Fall 2014.
The 2015 NGA Show opening keynote session is sponsored by Kraft. Registration for the 2015 NGA Show is open August 1, 2014. For more information, visit www.theNGAshow.com.
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