Jimmy Panetta J.D. ’96 is a candidate for the 20th Congressional District, located on the California Central Coast. The district includes Monterey and San Benito Counties, and portions of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties.
Panetta lives in his hometown of Carmel Valley. After attending local public schools, Panetta graduated from Monterey Peninsula College, U.C. Davis, and Santa Clara University School of Law.
Panetta works as a prosecutor at the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to that, he worked as a prosecutor in Oakland, California. He also is involved in a number of community activities concerning Veterans, at-risk youth, local colleges, and the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary.
Panetta served in the United States Navy Reserve as an Intelligence Officer for eight years. During that time, Lieutenant Panetta was mobilized and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Based on his work for a Special Forces task force, he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service.
Panetta serves on the Board of Directors for the Monterey County Veterans Transition Center, the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation, Rancho Cielo Youth Campus, the Community Foundation of Monterey County, the National Steinbeck Center, and on the Advisory Council for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. He also serves as a trustee on the University of California at Santa Cruz Foundation and chairs the Monterey Peninsula College Citizens Bond Oversight Committee.
Jimmy is a graduate of Santa Cruz County’s 26th Focus-Agriculture class and is an associate member of the Monterey and Santa Cruz County Farm Bureaus. In addition to being a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Jimmy was honored as a 2015 Veteran of the Year for Monterey County. His father is Leon Panetta ’60, J.D. ’63.