WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom Reed recently accepted a Jefferson-Lincoln Award from the Leon Panetta Institute for his years of public service and bipartisan spirit while representing both the American people and his own constituents.

Reed, who represents the Greater Olean area in Congress, spoke about learning the importance of cooperation as a child.

“As the youngest of 12, raised by a single mother on a Social Security check and a military death benefit after my father died when I was 2, I learned at an early age that things work best when you work together,”  Reed said. “I bring that same attitude to work every day, and that is why I co-chair the Problem Solvers Caucus. To be recognized for this bipartisan work in Washington by public service legend Leon Panetta is one of my greatest honors.”

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The Jefferson-Lincoln Awards are presented each year to individuals whose professional achievements represent exceptional commitment to the principles of American democracy, to bipartisanship and to a dedication to encouraging the healthy functioning of the United States’ system of government through an informed electorate. Also honored with Jefferson- Lincoln awards at the institute's Nov. 9 gala were Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee; University of California President Janet Napolitano, a former Secretary of Homeland Security, and Rep. Joshua S. Gottheimer, a New Jersey Democrat who co-chairs the Problem Solvers Caucus.

Panetta served in several public offices, including posts as Secretary of Defense; director of the CIA; White House chief of staff; director of the Office of Management and Budget, and as a  U.S. Representative from California. 

Founded in 1997 by Leon and Sylvia Panetta, the Panetta Institute serves the entire California State University system plus several other schools. Under the direction of the Panettas, the institute provides a variety of study opportunities in government, politics and public policy, and sponsors a range of other programs.

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