Matt is the Chief Executive Officer at United Friends of the Children (UFC). Established in 1979, UFC is one of the most successful and admired organizations serving foster youth in Los Angeles. A perceptive leader and proven strategist, Matt is known for his ability to guide people and organizations toward imagining and realizing the highest fulfillment of their shared purpose and mission. He brings strong financial stewardship, business acumen, and operational oversight to his leadership and has a successful track record of positioning organizations for long-term sustainability and growth.
At UFC, Matt worked closely with the Board and senior staff on a strategic plan that established and is now delivering on, a new collective vision for the organization’s future as an innovator and leader in youth development services for children in foster care. To ensure United Friends’ sustainability, he also successfully led an organizational restructure that included strengthening UFC’s financial and revenue functions, programmatic service model, and the Board’s governance policies and practices.
Previously, Matt led the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice. Initially a community legal aid in East L.A., Matt collaborated with the Board and senior staff to successfully reimagine the organization as a statewide leader in legal services for immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. As Executive Director, Matt built an enterprising and vibrant organization, launching new practice areas, service innovations, cross-sector partnerships, and advocacy efforts that expanded legal protections and services for survivors in Los Angeles and California.
Earlier in his career, Matt served as the Deputy Director of the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, which is the nation’s leading research center on sexual orientation and gender identity. Serving as a senior strategist, operational lead, and connector, Matt built out multiple internal functions, helped fund and launch new research initiatives and education programs, and collaborated with external partners and stakeholders to integrate the Institute’s research into national and international policy debates during a period of unprecedented and rapid progress on LGBT issues.
As a consultant, Matt has also advised a variety of nonprofits, including think tanks, community clinics, and youth services organizations on board development, program design, and external relations strategies.
Throughout his career, Matt has been dedicated to issues of equity and justice. As a nonprofit leader, he has been instrumental in helping translate organizations’ commitment to equity into meaningful, sustainable change in how they lead and serve. He began his career as a civil rights advocate, working as a staff attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and a research associate at the Institute on Race & Poverty at the University of Minnesota Law School. In these roles, he litigated in the areas of education, employment, and voting rights and conducted research and policy advocacy in support of housing and immigration reform.
When he’s not at work, Matt spends nearly all of his free time with his children and family. When he gets the chance, he loves to read, hike and is a closet classical musician.