Patten headed the International Republican Institute (IRI)’s Moscow office from 2001-2004, and provided technical assistance to a range of political parties and non-governmental organizations.  In particular, he worked closely with the late opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, whose center-right party, the Union of Right Forces, pushed for free market and democratic reforms.  Sam traveled extensively throughout Russia’s 11 time zones, building relationships and a nuanced understanding of Russia’s character.  From 2009-11, Sam served as Eurasian program director at Freedom House, an advocacy group, where he continued to focus on Russian affairs, as well as those in the broader region.