We are excited to welcome Matt McAlvanah to the team as Principal. Matt has spent his career at the intersection of communications and policy – on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. He offers clients a keen understanding of not only how their priorities will play in the White House, cabinet agencies, and on Capitol Hill; but also how they impact the broader public debate. His expertise comes from well over a decade of experience managing high-stakes policy communications for a cabinet-level agency, numerous Senate Committees, and for an influential member of the Senate leadership. Prior to joining Monument, Matt served in the Obama Administration as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, spearheading policy communications for the Administration on trade and international investment issues. Prior to USTR, Matt served as Communications Director to U.S. Senator Patty Murray, the senior Senator from Washington state and third-ranking member of Senate Democratic leadership. Matt graduated from the Ohio State University and lives with his wife Anna on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

As a Monument right of passage we sat down with Matt to get to know him a little better, read his answers below.

What got you interested in politics?

Politics has been a passion that goes back a few rungs in my family tree. My great-grandfather was a lieutenant in the political machine built by Frank “I am the law” Hague in Jersey City, New Jersey, so there are plenty of stories from family members whose earliest memories involve canvassing city neighborhoods and the occasional ballot-stuffing. But my interest in politics was mostly fueled by the activism of my parents – who met on a bus my dad chartered to the March on Washington in 1969 – and who brought those experiences to my childhood dinner table. I remember when I was younger being shocked when I met people who didn’t discuss politics at home regularly and who might not have been as excited to dish about campaign speeches and legislative process between classes. Unsurprisingly, I ended up in D.C. where that’s not a problem. Perhaps equally unsurprising, three of my parents’ four children have also lived in the city where the bus they met on was destined.

What is your favorite Monument in Washington D.C.?

The Memorial to the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence. A little obscure, I know. But it is situated on an island (accessible by bridge), in a lake on the mall. There is often nobody else around and from it you have a vantage point of almost every other significant monument – including the Vietnam, Lincoln, and WWII memorials. It gives you the feeling that you’re at the chronological beginning of U.S. political history while being able to look out at memorials to the many of significant moments – good and bad – that were born from that moment. Highly recommend for out-of-town visitors!

What is your favorite quote?

It’s an Alfred Tennyson quote that Ted Kennedy famously used at the end of his 1980 concession speech:

"I am a part of all that I have met. Though much is taken, much abides. That which we are, we are, one equal temper of heroic hearts, strong in will. To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

What is your favorite book?

The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright. An incredible look at the lead-up to 9/11 that looks at both law enforcement missteps and the rise of Al-Qaeda.

What is your dream job?

PGA tour pro.