flame logo graphic
  • CV
    Download (PDF)
  • Degrees
    PhD, Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1973
    MSc, Rural Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1970
    BA, Sociology, University of Cincinnati, 1967
  • Research Interests
    Use of evaluation to support sustainability and equity, food systems transformation, sociology of knowledge

Michael Quinn Patton directs an organizational development and evaluation consulting business called Utilization-Focused Evaluation. He has been an independent evaluation practitioner for over 45 years, and has worked at local, state, national, and international levels. He has been teaching at The Evaluators’ Institute since its beginning.  He also teaches in the International Program for Development Evaluation Training and the Claremont Evaluation Center.

He is the author of eight books on program evaluation, including a new 5th edition of Utilization-Focused Evaluation (2022). Other books include Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods (4th edition, 2015); Blue Marble Evaluation (2020); Facilitating Evaluation (2020); Principles-Focused Evaluation (2018); Essentials of Utilization-Focused Evaluation (2012); and Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use (2011). He has also written a book with two Canadian colleagues entitled Getting to Maybe: How the World Is Changed (2006), which applies systems thinking and complexity theory to social innovation.

Patton is a former president of the American Evaluation Association (AEA). He received the Alva and Gunner Myrdal Award for “outstanding contributions to evaluation use and practice” and the Paul Lazarsfeld Award for lifetime contributions to evaluation theory from AEA. He was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota for 18 years, including five years as director of Minnesota Center for Social Research. He received the university’s Morse-Amoco Award for outstanding teaching.

Patton is a generalist, having evaluated a wide variety of programs in diverse areas such as health, human services, education, cooperative extension, environment, agriculture, employment, training, leadership development, literacy, early childhood and parent education, poverty alleviation, economic development, and advocacy. He has consulted with nonprofit, philanthropic, private sector, and international organizations. His consulting practice has included program evaluation, strategic planning, conflict resolution, board facilitation, staff development, futuring, and a variety of organizational development approaches.

Co-authored with Charmagne E. Campbell-Patton. Utilization-Focused Evaluation: Premises and Principles 5th ed. Sage Publications, 2022.

Blue Marble Evaluation: Premises and Principles. New York: Guilford Press, 2020.

Co-edited with Elizabeth K. Minnich. Thought Work: Thinking, Action, and the Fate of the World. Rowland & Littlefield, 2020.

Principles-Focused Evaluation: The GUIDE. Guilford Press, 2018.

Facilitating Evaluation: Principles in Practice. Sage Publications, 2018.

Ed. “Pedagogy of Evaluation.” New Directions for Evaluation, no. 155 (2017).

Co-edited with Kate McKegg and Nan Wehipeihana. Developmental Evaluation Exemplars: Principles in Practice. Guilford Press, 2015.

Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods, 4th edition. Sage Publications, 2015.

Comparative Evaluation Theory