Patton is an independent organizational development and evaluation consultant. He is former President of the American Evaluation Association. He received both the Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Award for “outstanding contributions to evaluation use and practice” and the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for lifetime contributions to evaluation theory from the American Evaluation Association. The Society for Applied Sociology honored him with the Lester F. Ward Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Sociology.
He is the author of eight evaluation books including 4th editions of Utilization-Focused Evaluation (2008) and Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods (2015). These books have been used in over 500 universities worldwide. He also authored Creative Evaluation; Practical Evaluation; and Culture and Evaluation. He has co-authored a book on the dynamics of social innovation entitled Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed (2006). Recent books include Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use (2011) and Developmental Evaluation Exemplars: Principles in Practice (2016). His latest book is Principles-Focused Evaluation (2017). His next book is Global Systems Change Evaluation for Blue Marble Evaluators.
He has a Sociology Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He spent 18 years on the faculty of the University of Minnesota (1973-1991), including five years as Director of the Minnesota Center for Social Research. He received the University’s Morse‑Amoco Award for outstanding teaching. He was the keynote presenter for the launching of the Latin American Network in Peru in 2004, the African Evaluation Society in Nairobi, Kenya in 1999 and at the European Evaluation Society in Switzerland in 2000. He has twice keynoted the American, Canadian, and Australasian Evaluation Society conferences, as well as national evaluation conferences for the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Italy, Denmark, Japan, and Brazil. He is a regular trainer for The Evaluators’ Institute.