Deval Patrick Photo
Co-Director, Center for Public Leadership
David R. Gergen Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership

Deval Patrick is a professor of practice and co-director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Patrick attended Milton Academy, thanks to the organization A Better Chance, and then Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Between college and law school, he lived and worked in East and West Africa. After law school, he clerked for a federal appellate judge and then launched a career as an attorney and business executive, becoming a staff attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Clinton administration, a partner at two Boston law firms, and a senior executive at two Fortune 50 companies. 

From 2007 to 2015, he served as the governor of Massachusetts, the first Black person to serve in the role. 

During his two terms, Patrick focused on health care, public schools and public infrastructure, and launched initiatives stimulating clean energy and biotechnology. Under his leadership, Massachusetts ranked first in the nation in student achievement, energy efficiency, health care coverage, veterans’ services, and entrepreneurship, and emerged from recession to achieve a 25-year high in employment. 

After his time in public office, Patrick founded and led an impact investment fund, the first fund in a major financial institution to focus on delivering both superior financial return and significant positive social impact. He continues to invest in mission driven business as an advisor and board member.

Patrick also remains involved in progressive politics, mainly by supporting local grassroots groups working to build engagement among disenfranchised and marginalized voters. 

Patrick is a Rockefeller Fellow, a Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, and the author of two books, A Reason to Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life and Faith in the Dream: A Call to the Nation to Reclaim American Values.  He divides his time between Cambridge and Western Massachusetts.

Transparent Engagement 

Harvard Kennedy School is proud of its energetic involvement in the world. To better understand how to solve public problems by improving policy and leadership, we engage directly with policymakers, public leaders, governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses whose activities affect those problems. However, we recognize that such engagement can raise questions about perceived and potential conflicts of interest, so we disclose publicly the key professional activities of our faculty outside the Kennedy School. The activities disclosed below are for the most recent reporting period, as defined by University policy. Some may be paid, some may be unpaid, and others may be in exchange for expense reimbursement only.

Outside Professional Activities For Deval Patrick

Organization Relationship
American Bridge 21st Century Foundation Consulting
American Bridge 21st Century Foundation Reimbursed travel
AmWell Fiduciary board membership
Bain Capital Membership on a scientific or other advisory board
Cerevel Therapeutics Fiduciary board membership
CityBlock Health Fiduciary board membership
Toast Inc. Fiduciary board membership
Twilio Fiduciary board membership
American Bridge 21st Century Foundation Membership on a scientific or other advisory board


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