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About Mattie

Mattie Ressler is pursuing dual Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Public Policy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business and the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, where she is focusing on Digital Strategy and Entrepreneurship and on International Security and Economic Policy.

Mattie is interested in the use of digital strategy and mobile technology for growth and  for human rights promotion and protection in civil conflict and disaster situations. In 2007, she assisted in research supporting the development of a web-based national gender strategy for the newly elected government of Liberia, which was presented to the Swedish and South African missions to the United Nations. At the GlobalGiving Foundation, Mattie worked with U.S.-based and international non-profits as they developed digital donor engagement strategies to improve their online fundraising presence. She drove the launch of GlobalGiving’s Sahel Relief Fund in 2012 in response to field reports from GlobalGiving partner organizations about deteriorating food security in the Sahel, West Africa, and partnered with numerous U.S.-based nonprofit organizations to assist in the launch of the InterAction Sahel social media campaign to spread domestic awareness about the food crisis.

Mattie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at American University, graduating cum laude and with University Honors in International Studies from American University’s School of International Service in 2008. At AU, Mattie specialized in International Peace and Conflict Resolution and in African Area Studies. She wrote widely on topics of peace and security, and, after studying at the University of Cape Town, wrote an honors capstone (or thesis) on the utility of storytelling for the reintegration of state security forces into post-apartheid South Africa. Mattie has partnered with organizations addressing conflict or responding to natural disasters in Sri Lanka, Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa, the Sahel, Liberia, Thailand, Philippines, Turkey, and Haiti.

In addition to living in South Africa, Mattie has international experience in Colombia, Indonesia, India, and Sri Lanka. In Colombia, Mattie participated in field-based research on the economic, political, and social effects of U.S.-sponsored PLAN Colombia on minority groups and Colombia’s internal peace process. In Indonesia, Mattie taught English as a Second Language while living in East Java. She speaks Bahasa Indonesia.

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