Deval Patrick to Speak at School of Public Policy Kickoff

Deval Patrick
Deval Patrick

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will be the special guest speaker at the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy virtual fall kickoff on Friday, Aug. 28.

Patrick will speak to the School of Public Policy community, via an online forum, about the importance of public service during tumultuous times and the crucial role the students will play in shaping the policy that will define our future.

"We're very excited that Gov. Patrick is joining us to celebrate the start of a new academic year," said Alasdair Roberts, School of Public Policy director. "He exemplifies our school's commitment to public service and social justice."

Patrick was first elected governor of Massachusetts in 2006. The first African American to hold the position, he served two terms. During his tenure, Patrick worked to expand affordable health care to more than 98 percent of state residents and to bring the state to a 25-year high in employment, launched initiatives stimulating clean energy and biotechnology, won a national Race to the Top educational grant and made significant investments in Massachusetts’ public schools.

Born on Chicago’s South Side, Patrick became the first person in his family to attend college and then law school. He went on to work for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and for the U.S. Department of Justice, where he was assistant attorney general and led the Civil Rights Division. After leaving the governor’s office, he launched Bain Capital’s Double Impact fund, which invests in mission-driven companies focused on social and environmental issues.

The School of Public Policy will welcome more than 60 new students — its largest incoming cohort ever — at its fall kickoff. They will be joined at the virtual event by returning students, faculty and staff.