She earned undergraduate degrees in Biology and Sociology at Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon and a Master’s Degree in Biological Science Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City. She taught Biology and Physical Science at high schools in Hawaii.
An Army spouse for 38 years, Mrs. Shinseki devoted herself to volunteer work in the schools and community, the American Red Cross, Family Readiness Groups, The Arlington Ladies, and spouse development initiatives, among other military family programs and priorities. She has served on the Boards of the Armed Services YMCA, The Army Distaff Foundation, Army Emergency Relief, the Amputee Patient Care Program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and as a member of the Panel for the Care of Individuals with Amputations and Functional Limb Loss, a subcommittee of the Defense Health Board. She has provided assistance and support to other organizations serving military families, including the Zero To Three: Coming Together Around Military Children program.
Patty is a member of the Board of Managers of The Army Emergency Relief and the Board of Advisors of the Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement. She also serves as an Advisory Board member for Sesame Workshop’s Talk, Listen, Connect program. As of April 2011, she was appointed to the Board of Advisors for “Joining Forces,” a White House initiative that brings attention to the needs and sacrifices of veterans, service members, military families and their children, and inspires action to provide broad-based American support to them. The Shinseki’s have two children and seven grandchildren.