Governor Deval Patrick, the Commonwealth's first African American governor, will speak about the great importance of this Presidential election: what's at stake and the broader implications of a change we're witnessing in U.S. politics. He'll also discuss the claim that Barack Obama-and others-are placing on our citizenship, what that means for us as voters, and what it means for the future of politics.
A graduate of Harvard, Patrick spent a post-graduate year working on a United Nations youth training project in the Darfur region of Sudan. He returned to the U.S. to attend Harvard Law School in 1979, and 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.
In 1994, President Clinton appointed Patrick Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. During his tenure at the Justice Department, he 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.
In 1997, Patrick was appointed by a federal district court to serve as the first chairperson of Texaco's Equality and Fairness Task Force and was hired by Texaco in 1999 to serve as vice president and general counsel. In 2001, he joined The Coca-Cola Company as executive vice president and general counsel, was elected to the role of corporate secretary in 2002, and served on the company's senior leadership team as a member of the Executive Committee.
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.