Paul Patterson

Deputy Communications Director


Paul M. Patterson is an award-winning strategic communication marketing professional with expertise in public relations, government affairs, brand positioning, community outreach programming, large-scale event planning, sponsorship management and issues/crisis management. As a human-impact leader and mentor, in building authentic relationships, Paul drives every project, campaign, an event that he becomes involved with, and take great pride in pursuing endeavors that have heart, vision, and the aim to inspire, activate, and mobilize.

Previous, Paul was the Senior Public Information Officer for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), a City of Chicago agency, which was developed out of the Department of Justice investigation of the shooting of Laquan McDonald. In this role, Paul has been dedicated to fostering an open dialogue with communities across the city to educate, inform and engage them about civilian police oversight transparency policy, consent and decree and. Whether it’s delivering a presentation to facilitate the complaint filing process for minors or ensuring respectful community engagement during of an alleged investigative process, I have an intuitive ability in shifting stakeholder expectations and perceptions to build a positive impact. By mending the relationships and establishing confidence with the media and law enforcement, I strive to highlight the importance of police oversight to build trust within the community.

Before entering public service, he held the position of Marketing Communication Manager for the American Bar Association where he was charged with managing the association Diversity and Inclusion Center communication and reputation through compelling storytelling plans. While forging relationships with high-level attorneys and C-Suite executives advocating for social justice issues affecting the legal system, Paul used his creative ingenuity and launched the successful Digital Justice Initiative Project. The Digital Justice Initiative brought together diverse communities of color, persons with disabilities, law enforcement, and technology sectors to engage innovative technology-based solutions to address tension points between law enforcement, communities of color and person with disabilities. Through this initiative, he led a successful “Justice Hackathon”, under the ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice, which was the first-ever hackathon held during an ABA annual meeting. This initiative has expanded beyond his tenure at the ABA to other cities such as Miami, North Carolina, New York, and Chicago.

His integrated marketing experience has been a mix of both client side as well as agency client management. While being an Account Supervisor at Goldstar Communications, he was awarded the Golden Trumpet Award from the Chicago Publicity Club for Best Public Relations and Community Relations Campaign and the Public Relations Society of America Skylight Award for Best Community Relations and Business Services campaign for Walgreen’s, forging brand affinity within general and multicultural markets. Others agency stints include Jerry Thomas Public Relations and the Communication Economic Development Association, Inc. (CEDA), the second largest non-profit in Chicago. Over the years he’s worked in several different industries for brands including Sears, Kmart, Kmart Pharmacy, AT&T, Follett Higher Education Group, Chicago Climate Action Plan, and the International Grocers Alliance (IGA).

Paul earned a Master of Science in Communications degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Eastern Michigan University.

Paul is passionate about improving the lives of others and supporting causes he believes in. As part of the iMentor program, he helps a low-income high school student navigate the path to college. When he is not immersed in media or scouring the news, Paul enjoys playing visiting museums, theme parks, and spending time with his chocolate Labrador Pharaoh.