Legislative Associate, Foreign Policy
Matt Southworth, son of Harold and Nancy Southworth of New York, was born in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1984. Matt spent most of his adolescence in Florida. There, Matt was a four sport athlete at Belleview High School, in Belleview, Florida and went to state for wrestling his junior and senior years. Shortly after graduating high school with high honors, Matt joined the U.S. Army as an intelligence analyst in order to help pay for college in the future.
While in the Army, Matt served a tour of duty in northern Iraq, near Mosul, in 2004. Matt’s experience in Iraq turned him against war and into an anti-war activist. By happenstance, he was eventually led to Wilmington College, a small Quaker school in Wilmington, Ohio. In May of 2009, Matt graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wilmington College with his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and History and a minor in Psychology. After graduation, Matt spent two months in Israel-Palestine—his second trip to the region—studying Arabic, volunteering at a Christian community center near Bethlehem, and living with a Palestinian family. Matt is convinced that the road to Middle East stability is conducive to U.S. national security and must travel through Israel-Palestine.
Currently, Matt works on Afghanistan policy and drones issues on Capitol Hill. Matt also organizes young adults around the country by providing the tools that empower people to influence government through effective lobbying.
In August 2011, Matt organized a fact finding mission to Afghanistan. The trip was comprised of Congressional staff, journalists and non-profit leaders. The trip was done "under the radar" and without security or Pentagon and State Department support. The delegation met with a range of figures in Afghanistan to include Afghan government officials, international NGOs and opposition figures. The delegation discovered a number of urgent policy changes needed, as well as re-affirmed the fact that the U.S. military strategy has failed to deliver peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
Matt serves on the Board of Directors for Veterans for Peace. He is an advocacy leader in the pro-peace veteran community.