Adjunct Faculty and Policy Fellow
Schar School of Policy and Government
For over twenty years, Patricia Farrell Donahue served as a senior research analyst for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), where she led or contributed to over seventy peer-reviewed studies examining federal government policies and programs in such areas as economic, community, and international development; technology; defense; health; labor; education; and finance.
As a Schar Policy Fellow, Dr. Donahue has given guest lectures on such topics as: community development, archival research, northern Virginia history, artificial intelligence, desegregation, program evaluation, and policy research. Her current research projects focus on community participation; economic development; history of science; and higher education.
Dr. Donahue is the author of Participation, Community, and Public Policy in a Virginia Suburb: Of Our Own Making (Lexington Books, 2017). The book has received very positive reviews and was awarded the 2018 Ross Netherton Book Prize for History.
Dr. Donahue received a B.A. in chemistry from Wheaton College (Norton, Massachusetts), a M.A. in public policy from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in public policy from GMU’s School of Public Policy. Her dissertation, We, the Community: A Study of Participation, Community and Public Policy, received the 2014 Joseph L. Fisher Award for Best Dissertation and Academic Achievement.
Areas of Research
• Participation and democracy
• Community, economic, and urban development
• Public policy and governance
• Inequality, diversity, and poverty
• Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)
• Defense, artificial intelligence, and cyber-related issues
• Qualitative and quantitative research methods