Matthew Kennis is a seasoned advocate and strategist with over 17 years of experience in operational and strategic leadership roles. He has focused on advancing the work of human rights, development, and conflict transformation organizations, and worked or consulted for Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, Peace Direct, Open Society Foundations, and UN Women.
Matt is an expert at building networks across geographies, developing new program and partnership strategies, and helping lead teams during periods of organizational growth and transition. Matt has significant on air and on the record experience with the media and has lectured regularly on a variety of human rights topics to undergraduate, graduate, medical, and law school students.
Matt has worked to reform and bolster justice institutions in Colombia, Guatemala, and Kyrgyzstan, designing research agendas, facilitating consultations, and leading multi-stakeholder advocacy efforts. He has also served as a Short-Term Elections Observer with the OSCE in Georgia, Ukraine, and North Macedonia and with the OAS in Guatemala. Matt received his master’s degree in international human rights and political development from Columbia University and received fellowships from the Harriman Institute and the Kathryn Davis philanthropy. Matt has studied Russian and speaks Spanish fluently.