In 2009, Thomas Patterson retired after an environmental protection career of 31 years, which began as a local health officer in Houma, Louisiana. For four years, Mr. Patterson was employed as a local health officer, food service officer, foodborne illness investigator, and Registered Sanitarian. Mr. Patterson transferred to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Hazardous Waste Enforcement Section in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to work at the state level in environmental protection and regulation. During the course of more than 31 years, Mr. Patterson has worked in the areas of hazardous waste management and enforcement, solid waste management, regulation writing, recycling, radiation protection, radiological emergency preparedness and response, FEMA National Incident Management System operations and training. Mr. Patterson retired from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in 2009 as Deputy Undersecretary
Mr. Patterson has published articles in the Public Administration Quarterly and Public Policy and Administration. With Kenneth Henning, the father of the Certified Public Manager, Mr. Patterson co-authored the History of the Certified Public Manager, which is a management credential recognized in more than 28 states.
Mr. Patterson was President of the American Academy of Certified Public Managers (AACPM), and served for five years on the AACPM National Board of Directors. In addition, Mr. Patterson served as president of two other statewide organizations
Mr. Patterson is a graduate of the U.S. Army Sergeants-Major Academy at Ft. Bliss, TX and retired from the Army National Guard at the rank of E-9 (Sergeant-Major).
During the response to Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Patterson served as Logistics Officer for the establishment of the Combined Federal State Incident Command Post within the Galvez State Office Building in Baton Rouge and continued in that role until the Incident Command Post moved forward to the New Orleans Area on 6 Oct 2005. This work involved constant contact with EPA, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service and other federal agencies to determine their office and some of their field needs (Food, MRE, field medical supplies, and water). The duties of Logistics Officer included preparation of the Galvez Conference Center to serve as an Emergency Housing Facility for federal and state emergency response teams. He attended the ICS Incident Command Train-the-Trainer Course and instructed all levels of the National Incident Management System for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security.
Mr. Patterson’s academic credentials include an Associate of Science from Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA (Criminal Justice), a Bachelor of Science Degree from Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA (Marine Biology), and a Master of Science Degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA (Environmental Planning and Management). Mr. Patterson’s Master’s thesis laid the groundwork for the Used Oil Recycling Program in Louisiana as a social program. The thesis title was “The Role of Used Oil Generation, Collection, and Regulation in Public Used Oil Collection Programs.” This program involved promoting a programs to industry, local government, and the public that was designed to benefit citizens and the environment.