Matthew is from Los Angeles, California, but spent his youth in Kentucky and his university years in Chicago. He is a graduate of Lake Forest College where he earned degrees in Studies of the European Union (BA Hons) and Asian Studies (BA Hons). 

His primary interest is European federalism, and his senior thesis, entitled, "European Federalism and the Welfare State: How free movement, Subsidiarity, and the ECB affect welfare spending in the E.U." was awarded distinction for its original research and is in the process of being published.

In addition to his research on the E.U., Matthew has experience in American local politics and international development having served on numerous state-level legislative and judicial campaigns and as the director and co-founder of the Senuyaa Initiative - a development program in Guinea, West Africa.

In addition to his native English, Matthew speaks German, West African French, and Mandarin Chinese.