Patel graduated from Worcester Academy and received his B.A. from Trinity College, Hartford. At Trinity College, Patel roomed with Tucker Carlson. Patel holds a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an associate editor of the Journal of Law and Policy in International Business.
Patel served as Scooter Libby's deputy before becoming chief policy advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney. In his role as an advisor to Cheney, Patel represented the Vice President at White House economic and domestic policy meetings, interacted with the business community on behalf of the Vice President, and managed the Vice President’s policy staff.
Patel was nominated by the Bush White House to run the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, but he was not confirmed.
After leaving the vice president's office, Patel co-founded The Daily Caller, a conservative website. Patel is also co-founder and is managing director of Bluebird Asset Management, a hedge fund focused on mortgage-backed securities
- Kurtz, Howard (2010-01-11). "Media Notes: A look at Tucker Carlson's political Web site, the Daily Caller". Washington Post. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- "Neil S. Patel Joins AFP as Senior Advisor". The Americans Futures Project. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
- Schmitt, Eric (2005-10-30). "Indicted aide had been 'Cheney's Dick Cheney'". New York Times. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- "Famous 5: Neil Patel". famousdc. Retrieved 22 June 2011.