Governor Deval Patrick was elected in November of 2006. He brings to the Governor’s office a broad range of leadership experience at the top levels of business, government, and non-profits. From an early age, he has built his life on hope, and traced a trajectory from the South Side of Chicago to the U.S. Justice Department, Fortune 500 boardrooms, and now the Massachusetts Statehouse.
Patrick came to the Commonwealth at the age of 14. An excellent student despite the difficult circumstances of under-funded and often violent Chicago schools, he was awarded a scholarship to Milton Academy through A Better Chance, a Boston-based organization.
After graduating from Milton, Patrick went on to Harvard, the first in his family to attend college. He received his degree, with honors, in 1978 and spent a post-graduate year working on a United Nations youth training project in the Darfur region of Sudan. He returned to Cambridge to attend Harvard Law School in the fall of 1979.
Following law school, Patrick served as a law clerk to a federal appellate judge before joining the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. In 1986, he joined the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow and was named partner in 1990, at the age of 34.
In 1994, President Clinton appointed Patrick Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, the nation's top civil rights post. At the Justice Department, Patrick worked on a wide range of issues, including prosecution of hate crimes and abortion clinic violence, employment discrimination, and enforcement of fair lending laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
During his tenure, Patrick led the largest criminal investigation prior to September 11th, coordinating state, local and federal agencies to investigate church burnings throughout the South in the mid-1990s.
Patrick returned to private practice in 1997 with the Boston firm of Day, Berry & Howard. That same year, he was appointed by a federal district court to serve as the first chairperson of Texaco's Equality and Fairness Task Force. Working with employees at all levels, Patrick and his Task Force examined and reformed Texaco’s complex corporate employment culture, and created a model for fostering an equitable workplace. Patrick was hired by Texaco in 1999 to serve as Vice President and General Counsel leading the company’s global legal affairs.
In 2001, Patrick joined The Coca-Cola Company as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. He was elected to the additional role of Corporate Secretary in 2002, and served as part of the company’s senior leadership team as a member of the Executive Committee.
Governor Patrick has served on numerous charitable and corporate boards, as well as the Federal Election Reform Commission under Presidents Carter and Ford, and as Vice Chair of the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Council by appointment of Governor Weld.
The Commonwealth’s first African-American Governor, Deval Patrick came into office with a grassroots message of hope, community and hard work. By focusing on transparency and inclusion, he hopes to increase accessibility to government and encourage the civic engagement so crucial to shared progress in education, health care, economic development and other issues.
Diane and Deval Patrick have been married for over two decades and have two college-age daughters, Sarah and Katherine. The Patrick family has lived in Milton, in a house on Deval’s high school paper route, for the last 17 years.