Matt is the Founder and CEO of Innovate Public Schools, an organization working to promote and initiate great public schools for all children in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, particularly low-income students, students of color and students with disabilities.
Before launching Innovate, Matt was the Executive Director of People Acting In Community Together (PACT) from 2000-2012. Under Matt’s leadership, PACT led the effort to make Santa Clara County the first county in the country to provide access to health insurance to all low-income children, launched the highest-performing public schools in the Alum Rock School District, created the ACE Public School Network, and built one of the only large public school choice movements in the country initiated and driven by the people with the most at stake: low-income parents.
In the 1990s, Matt was a community organizer with Oakland Community Organizations, where he built the organization’s parent-led new schools campaign. This effort has transformed the district and made it the most improved urban district in California for 7 years, due to the dramatic rise in student achievement at dozens of new charter schools and new, more effective district schools.
Matt’s work is featured in Jonathan Schorr’s book, Hard Lessons: The Promise of an Inner-City Charter School, and in Mark Warren’s book, A Match On Dry Grass: Community Organizing As A Catalyst For School Reform. Matt advises organizations around the country that are seeking to build political will for the urgent school reform that parents desire for their children.
Before moving back home to the Bay Area, Matt was a staff organizer for Southern Echo in Mississippi and was the founding director of the Community Service Center at Duke University, his alma mater, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude. Matt is a 2013 Pahara-Aspen Fellow and is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum-Silicon Valley. He is on the founding Board of Directors of Cristo Rey San Jose.