Event Recap: Mark Patterson on Public Service and the Transitions to and from the Private Sector
April 02, 2014
Mr. Patterson is a strategist, lawyer, and former senior staff member in both the U.S. Senate and the executive branch who most recently served as chief of staff of the Department of the Treasury under Secretaries Geithner and Lew. He is, in fact, the longest-serving chief of staff in Treasury history.
After Mr. Patterson began by discussing the pros and cons of government work, he reinforced the virtue of working in the “electric” and “consequential” public service sector. As a Treasury Department veteran of the financial crisis and several debt ceiling showdowns (to name but a few challenges he’s had to tackle in recent years), he passionately emphasized the thrill and honor of his career in government – something he said he was wasn’t able to match in his private sector experiences, even during his time at Goldman Sachs.
The lecture sparked a number of student questions about what life in the upper echelons of government is really like and how students can make the transition into public service careers, all of which Mr. Patterson answered candidly. (To listen to the full lecture and Q&A, click here.)
Penn Wharton PPI was honored to host Mr. Patterson, Penn’s first ever Public Policy Visiting Fellow.
Mr. Patterson is a strategist, lawyer, and former senior staff member in both the U.S. Senate and the executive branch. Patterson served 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 in 2009, Mr. 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.
Mr. Patterson 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.