Founder & Executive Director
Bismarck, North Dakota-native Patrick Atkinson attended Minnesota State University – Moorhead where he earned a BA in Criminal Justice (pre-law) and a BSW in Social Work (chemical dependency counseling). After graduation in 1981, he turned down several lucrative corporate job offers to work with runaways, prostitutes, and gang members in New York City Hell’s Kitchen. In 1983, Patrick moved to Central America where he began a life-long international career in war-zone reconciliation and post-war reconstruction. He earned a Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University, and has studied post graduate studies at Harvard University and the University of Oxford.
A popular university guest lecturer on issues related to human trafficking, international nonprofit management, and street gang issues, he has been knighted, is the recipient of numerous human rights awards (including the Guatemalan Congressional Medal) and is the subject of author Monica Hannan’s biography, The Dream Maker. He is author of several award-winning books, including the international selling Message for My Child and The Powerful You, as well as the founder and executive director of The GOD’S CHILD Project, the Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons, The Atkinson Center, and several Central American charities.
When not being shot at, knifed, caught in car-bombings, or traveling worldwide advocating on behalf of abused, abandoned, or human-trafficking victims, Patrick resides with his family in Central America, in Bismarck, ND, and at Hippo Wallow Pond, his family home outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Info@GodsChild.org or 612.351.8020