Distinguished Alumnus in Political Science Award
Mark A. Patterson, BA '84
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Partner, Perkins Coie LLP
Mark A. Patterson is partner in the Washington, DC office of Perkins Coie LLP, a law firm with more than 900 lawyers and 20 offices across the United States and around the world. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, the Washington, DC think tank. Before joining Perkins Coie, Patterson served from 2009 – 2013 as chief of staff of the Department of the Treasury under Secretaries Timothy F. Geithner and Jacob J. Lew. He is the longest-serving chief of staff in Treasury history, and is a recipient of the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Department's highest honor.
Prior to joining the Treasury Department, Patterson was a member of the Obama-Biden presidential transition team, where he led the transition's work to secure Senate confirmation of the president-elect's cabinet. In 2008, he served on the Obama for America presidential campaign, where he ran preparation for then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden's vice-presidential debate with Gov. Sarah Palin. Before joining the Obama campaign, Patterson was a managing director at Goldman Sachs.
Patterson previously served for 15 years as a staff member in the U.S. Senate. From 1999 to 2004, he was the policy director for Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. Patterson began work in the Senate in 1984 as an intern in the office of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York. He served on Sen. Moynihan's staff for more than 10 years, working his way up from intern to special assistant, legislative assistant, legislative director, and finally to Democratic staff director and chief counsel at the Senate Committee on Finance, of which Sen Moynihan was the Ranking Democrat. He was Sen. Moynihan's longest-serving chief aide on the Finance Committee.
Patterson is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and the Catholic University of America School of Law. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars and the Board of Directors of the Paul Robert Carey Foundation, a charitable organization devoted to the improving quality of life for cancer patients. Patterson's commentary on current events has been featured on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, BBC World News and BBC Radio, National Public Radio, and other networks, and has been published in The Washington Post, Politico and other media outlets. He is married to Jennifer S. Leete, an assistant director in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission. They have two daughters and reside in Washington, D.C.