Michael Quinn Patton is an independent evaluation consultant with 40 years experience conducting evaluations, training evaluators, and writing about ways to make evaluation useful. He is former President of the American Evaluation Association and recipient of 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, both from the American Evaluation Association. The Society for Applied Sociology honored him with the Lester F. Ward Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Sociology.
In addition to Utilization-Focused Evaluation, he has written books on Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods, Creative Evaluation, Practical Evaluation, and Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use. He has edited volumes on Culture and Evaluation and Teaching Evaluation Using the Case Method. He is co-author of Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed, a book that applies complexity science to social innovation.
After receiving his doctorate in Organizational Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he spent 18 years on the faculty of the University of Minnesota, including five years as Director of the Minnesota Center for Social Research. He received the University's Morse-Amoco Award for outstanding teaching.
He is a regular trainer for the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) sponsored by The World Bank each summer in Ottawa, The Evaluators’ Institute annual courses in Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Chicago, and the American Evaluation Association's professional development courses.
He has applied utilization-focused evaluation to a broad range of initiatives including anti-poverty programs, leadership development, education at all levels, human services, the environment, public health, medical education, employment training, agricultural extension, arts, criminal justice, mental health, transportation, diversity initiatives, international development, community development, systems change, policy effectiveness, managing for results, performance indicators, and effective governance. He has worked with organizations and programs at the international, national, state, provincial, and local levels, and with philanthropic, not-for-profit, private sector, international agency, and government programs. He has worked with peoples from many different cultures and perspectives.
He has three children, a musician, an engineer, and an international development practitioner, each doing a great deal of evaluation in their own distinctive ways, but, like much of the world, seldom officially calling it that. When not evaluating, he hikes the Grand Canyon, climbs mountains in Colorado, and enjoys the woods and rivers of Minnesota, kayaking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and watching the seasons change from his office overlooking the Mississippi River in Saint Paul.