Thomas E. Patterson is Research Director of The Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation. Heisa Professor of Government and the Press of Harvard Kennedy School and has served as the Acting Director of Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy since July 1, 2015. His book, The Vanishing Voter, looks at the causes and consequences of electoral participation. His earlier book on the media’s political role, Out of Order, received the American Political Science Association’s Graber Award as the best book of the decade in political communication. His first book, The Unseeing Eye, was named by the American Association for Public Opinion Research as one of the 50 most influential books on public opinion in the past half century.
He also is author of Mass Media Election and two general American government texts: The American Democracy and We the People. His articles have appeared in Political Communication, Journal of Communication, and other academic journals, as well as in the popular press. His research has been funded by the Ford, Markle, Smith-Richardson, Pew, Knight, Carnegie, and National Science foundation.
Patterson received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1971.