Matt Clausen is WOLA’s new Executive Director. He brings to WOLA years of leadership experience in the non-profit sector, where he has built effective multi-sector engagement strategies that span across borders. Mr. Clausen’s professional life has been committed to social and economic rights. Prior to joining WOLA in January 2017, he spent fifteen years in the senior leadership at Partners of the Americas, a non-profit organization that brings together people, governments, and local organizations to address challenges in the hemisphere, including strengthening democratic governance by building resilient civil societies and accountable institutions, and by promoting citizen engagement and transparency.
Mr. Clausen has coordinated numerous professional fellowship and leadership programs throughout the Americas. He has led regional and global efforts to convene volunteers and organizations to promote service, including the 2009 Conference on Higher Education and International Volunteer Service and the 2011 World Summit for Youth Volunteering, which brought together 900 young leaders in Colombia. He oversaw the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, which promotes global educational opportunities for students from diverse and often marginalized communities in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Mr. Clausen is married to Margarita Diaz, a Montessori teacher and teacher trainer in Washington DC. They met twenty years ago in Ecuador where Mr. Clausen taught English in primary and secondary schools and to English teachers. They have two children, Gisela and Maribel. As a bilingual, bicultural, and bi-national family, they travel frequently to Latin America while remaining strongly connected to the Latino community in the United States.
Mr. Clausen received a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School with a concentration in nonprofit management and a BA from Swarthmore College.