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Department ofPolitical Science

Panetta Institute for Public Policy

Congressional Internship Program and 2021 Lecture Series

If you have questions regarding the programs listed below, please contact Casey Robertson, Sr. Administrative Assistant for the Political Science Department, 408-554-4508Please do not contact the Panetta Institute for Public Policy directly.


Congressional Internship Program

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s 23rd annual Congressional Internship Program will be held from August 8th to December 6, 2021. The program, open to students of any academic major who will have junior or senior standing this fall, is a combination of a two-week academic orientation held at the Panetta Institute at Cal State Monterey Bay followed by eleven weeks in Washington, D.C. The internship is full-time and, upon completion, students will earn 30 upper-division elective units in political science. All program costs are covered, including housing, ground transportation, travel to and from Washington D.C., and a living stipend. One student from each of the twenty-three Cal State campuses, as well as one student from SCU (Mr. Panetta's alma mater), Dominican University of California (Mrs. Panetta’s alma mater), and Saint Mary's College are selected.

Please note the following:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen and California resident to be eligible.
  • The nominated student will be required to undergo a background check before working in Congress. 
  • Political Science majors satisfy only one major requirement through the internship--one section of POLI 198 as an upper-division elective.
  • Finalists must be available for an interview with the selection committee the week of March 1. 
  • The nominee must be ready to commit to the internship and be available to interview from 10:00am-10:30am on Friday, March 12.

Please see the Program Description for more information. To apply, please submit PDFs of the following to Casey Robertson by Noon on Wednesday, February 24:

  • a resume
  • a two-page essay explaining your interest in the program
  • a recent, graded writing assignment with the professor's comments (minimum of 3 pages)


2021 Leon Panetta Lecture Series

NOTE: The 2021 schedule will be published as soon as information becomes available. 


The Panetta Institute for Public Policy has graciously made available to SCU students a limited number of free seats for this year's Leon Panetta Lecture Series. The series will combine small group exercises led by Panetta Institute scholars and discussions among thought leaders moderated by Leon Panetta, former secretary of defense and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The lectures are open to all currently enrolled SCU students but seats are available only to the first 20 students to RSVP for each day. All events will be held at the Monterey Conference Center on Monday afternoons between 12:45 pm and 4:30 pm (registration opens at 11:15 am). Attendees must arrange their own transportation.

This year’s theme is Decision 2020: A Republic If We Can Keep It. The four events for the 2020 season are: 

Monday, February 24, 2020 - Decision 2020 – Impeachment and the Election
Bret Baier, host of Special Report with Bret Baier on FOX News Channel and the chief political anchor for FOX; David Gregory, American television journalist who has served as a CNN political analyst since 2016; and Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for National Public Radio and also a contributor at FOX News Channel

Monday, March 16, 2020 - Decision 2020 – An Economy on Borrowed Money
Todd Buchholz, an economist who served as White House director of economic policy under George H.W. Bush (1989-1992); Maya MacGuineas, President, Bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; and Rosa Gumataotao Rios, forty-third treasurer of the United States (2009-2016) and visiting scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Monday, April 20, 2020 - Decision 2020 – A Planet on Borrowed TimeJerry Brown, Governor of California (1975-1983) and (2011-2019); Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago (2011-2019), White House Chief of Staff (2009-2010) and United States Representative from Illinois (2003-2009); Mary Robinson, First Woman President of Ireland (1990-1997) and President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice; and David Wallace-Wells, Leading American Journalist on Climate Change and Author of the 2019 book, The Uninhabitable Earth.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - Decision 2020 - American Leadership in a Dangerous World
General James Mattis, USMC (Ret.), Twenty-Sixth United States Secretary of Defense (2017-2018); and John Kerry, Sixty-Eighth United States Secretary of State (2013-2017) and United States Senator from Massachusetts (1985-2013).


All events will be held at the Monterey Conference Center:
One Portola Plaza
Monterey, CA 93940
Parking Fee: $7/day

Please contact Casey Robertson for additional information.

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