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Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has signed on to be a visiting fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology beginning this spring, the school and Patrick announced Tuesday.
The Democrat, who left office last week after two terms, will participate in MIT's Innovation Initiative. His role will include appearances at seminars and other campus events. He will have office hours at the university but will not be teaching classes himself.
The announcement was the first word on Patrick's specific plans for his future after he took the traditional "lone walk" down the front steps of the Statehouse and into private life. He confirmed before his departure that he had been in discussions over what he called a "loose affiliation" with MIT.
The former governor would focus on "issues at the intersection of policymaking, entrepreneurship, and innovation-based growth," MIT said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear how much time Patrick would devote to MIT, and a university spokeswoman said the school does not disclose salaries.
As governor, Patrick repeatedly touted innovation and cutting-edge technology as vital to the state's economic success, supporting and showcasing industries such as biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and clean energy.
"Innovation is the fuel of our economy," Patrick said in statement Tuesday. "Massachusetts' inventors and innovators, many of whom have come out of MIT, have worked with business and government leaders to make the Commonwealth a leader in many industries."
Fiona Murray, an associate dean for innovation at MIT's Sloan School of Management, called the former governor an "international innovation diplomat." Patrick led a number of overseas trade missions while in office that sought to connect the state with emerging industries from other nations.
"We imagine he will engage with our students through a series of seminars and also participate in a number of classes on campus, and we also envision a series of roundtables" involving Patrick, Murray said.
Patrick said before leaving office that he intended to return to the private sector when his term ended and at times was not shy about his desire to earn more than the $151,800 salary he took home as governor.
He also did not rule out a possible future bid for the White House, though he stated several times that he would not be a candidate in 2016.
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