Patrick F. Fagan is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Research on Marriage and Religion, where he examines the relationships among family, marriage, religion, community, and America's social problems as illustrated in the social sciences research data. The Center has a particular emphasis on the relationship between marital stability coupled with the practice of religion and their joint impacts on such issues as happiness, health, mental health and general well being, income and savings, educational attainment and family stability as well as such negative outcomes as poverty, crime, abuse, and drug addiction.
A native of Ireland, Fagan earned his Bachelor of Social Science degree with a double major in sociology and social administration, and a professional graduate degree in psychology (dip. psych.) as well as a Ph.D. in social policy from University College Dublin.
Fagan started his career as a grade school teacher in Cork, Ireland, then returned to college to become a psychologist, going to Canada to practice then to Washington, D.C. to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology. In 1984, Fagan moved from the clinical world into the public policy arena, to work on family issues at the Free Congress Foundation. After that he worked for Senator Dan Coats of Indiana, then was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by President George H.W. Bush, before spending the next thirteen years at the Heritage Foundation where he was a senior fellow.