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U.S. Treasury Chief of Staff Meets with Rockefeller Students

Rockefeller College recently welcomed Mark Patterson ‘84, chief of staff to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, to the downtown campus for an informal breakfast conversation with students, many of whom are considering careers in government and public service.  

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Mark A. Patterson '84

“Anything is possible,” said Patterson as he encouraged both graduate and undergraduate students to pursue their goal of working in the public sector. The 1984 Rockefeller alumnus and former Delmar resident advised students to prepare themselves well, cultivate strong personal and professional networks, and take advantage of unique internship opportunities offered at Rockefeller, including the New York State Assembly and Senate Internship Programs and Rockefeller’s Semester in Washington. In fact, Patterson credited an internship he had as a UAlbany student working in the office of New York’s legendary Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan with sparking his passion for public service and legislative affairs. Because of that internship, after graduation Patterson was offered an entry-level position in Moynihan’s D.C. office. Eventually Patterson would go on to become a trusted aide and long-time friend to the Senator and his family. 

“It was inspirational to hear Mark speak. He gave us really valuable practical advice about making the transition from the academic world to the professional world,” said Frank McStay, a first-year MPA student from Frisco, Texas. “I think it’s also really important to hear about the stages of a person’s career,” added first-year MPA student Samantha Baldock from Reno, Nevada. “It’s nice to see that you can have multiple careers in the same sort of trajectory.”

From 1995 to 1999, Mark Patterson served as Democratic staff director and chief counsel of the Senate Finance Committee, and from 1993-1995 as Senator Moynihan's legislative director. He also served as Senator Moynihan's special assistant from 1984 to 1988. From 1999 to 2004, he worked as policy director for Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. He has also been senate confirmation coordinator for the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Project, and a volunteer for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign. In January 2009 Patterson was asked to serve as chief of staff to incoming Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

View a photo gallery from Mark Patterson’s visit