Patrick H. DeLeon, PhD, JD

2012 Distinguished Alumni Award

BA in liberal arts, 1964, Amherst College
MS in psychology, 1966, Purdue University
PhD in clinical psychology, 1969, Purdue University
MPH in health services administration, 1973, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
JD, 1980, Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law

Dr. Patrick H. DeLeon began his public health internship with Sen. Daniel Inouye on the first day of the infamous Watergate hearings in 1973. He retired last fall as the senator’s chief of staff, having served 38-plus years. DeLeon is known for his extensive public policy advocacy in the healthcare field, specifically in psychology and nursing.

He was recently appointed Distinguished Professor of Uniformed Health Care Policy and Research at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, where he has been an adjunct professor since 2007. He has been an adjunct professor at UH since 1979 in psychology and nursing at the Mānoa and Hilo campuses, as well as Vanderbilt, Widener University and others. He has nearly 175 refereed publications and has served on many national boards and committees.

After earning his PhD, DeLeon and his wife Jean (PhD ’74 Mānoa) came to Hawai‘i to work for the UH Hilo Peace Corps training program. DeLeon then worked for the State of Hawai‘i Division of Mental Health before earning his MPH, then going to Washington.

A long-time member of the American Psychological Association (APA), DeLeon was elected president in 2000. The APA has given him numerous awards, and in 2009 he received its highest honor: the APA Award for Lifetime Contributions to Psychology. DeLeon has also been recognized by psychological associations in eight states including Hawai‘i, where he is a member of the Hawai‘i Psychological Association and Hawai‘i State Bar Association.

In 2008 he was inducted as a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
In addition to an impressive list of academic credentials, DeLeon holds three honorary doctorates. He has also received honors from the UH Mānoa School of Public Health, the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy and Purdue University. Last year, the state senate commended DeLeon for his contributions to Hawai‘i, and Papa Ola Lokahi honored him for his commitment to the health of Native Hawaiians. August 28, 2011, was proclaimed Patrick DeLeon Day in Hawai‘i by the governor and mayor. DeLeon and his wife have a son, daughter and granddaughter.


Tribute video produced by Tom Galli. Mahalo to Sen. Daniel Inouye, Laura Thompson, Avi Soifer, Peter Boylan, Sara Daly, Jennifer Sabas and Don Kozono. Special thanks to the UH Media Lab for producing Sen. Inouye's interview, Kepano & Kristina Kekuewa for permission to use their photos; and to Benny Chong for permission to use music from Ukulele Jazz (2005).