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Man running for Congress

Meet Matthew Montavon

Matt has had a successful public administration career, working both nationally and internationally.  Through his work and volunteering he has shown a commitment to his community. Matt is ready to put this experience to work in Congress for the people of Florida's Gulf Coast. Read more about his journey here!

Matt supporting Cesar Chavez at a rally (Back row second from right - 1975)

Working at a rally with Cesar Chavez

Matt in back row second from right

How It All Started

Born in South Bend, Indiana, into a family of nine children, Matt learned the value of cooperation and working together. Beginning in high school and throughout college, he worked odd jobs to help support himself.

Matt received a bachelor's degree in political science and Spanish from The Catholic University of America, graduating with honors.  Several years later he was awarded the Lilly Endowment Fellowship in support of his studies at Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. In pursuit of his master's degree in public administration, Matt managed two projects for the government of the State of Indiana.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Matt served two years in Central America, working in a rural area on an agriculture and grain storage program. He then worked with the Illinois Migrant Council out of Carbondale, Illinois, providing support to migrant farm-workers and rural disadvantaged people.

Man speaking in microphone

Career Beginnings

Following these endeavors, Matt worked for a number of years in urban and regional planning and finance for local, regional, and national organizations in West Virginia, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Matt produced several publications which supported the improvement and efficiency of government. This work gave Matt extensive insight into governing processes, policy making, and the interaction between local, state, and federal governments.

Matt had a distinguished career with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Italy, retiring following 27 years of service.  At FAO, Matt's work supported a wide variety of programs to fight hunger and improve food and agricultural systems around the world.

Family with 2 dogs

Matthew and Marjorie E.  with their two children

Family Life

Matthew and Marjorie E. were married in 1991 and had two children. Marjie passed away from cancer in 2019. Their daughter works for the National Cancer Institute, and their son works as an engineer for a vertical farming company.

Participating in a panel discussion on the US election at the Italian Chamber of Deputies

Participating in a panel discussion on the US election at the Italian Chamber of Deputies

Democratic Principles

Throughout the years Matt has been a faithful Democrat, contributing to and volunteering for various campaigns even before he was old enough to vote. While working in Italy, he promoted voting among the American community, and for several years, he served as the chairperson for the Rome Chapter of the Democrats Abroad, the overseas arm of the Democratic Party. He currently serves as the President of the Sarasota Democratic Hispanic Caucus.

Man in hat protesting

Fifty mile march for the Fair Food Program

Public Service

Matt has always been involved in community activities such as volunteering for food pantries, Habitat for Humanity, and Operation BBQ Relief in Ft. Myers following Hurricane Ian. He was also a Boy Scout Leader, an Officer in the Federation of International Civil Servants' Associations, and the President of the FAO Credit Union. He currently serves as a volunteer co-coordinator of the AARP Tax-Aide program. He received an award in 2023 for outstanding service to the program.

Through Matt's work and volunteering, he has demonstrated his lifelong commitment to improving our communities. Matt has a deep understanding of and empathy for people. Matt's experiences through public service have given him the skills to address the pressing issues facing our district and country.

Downtown Sarasota

Downtown Sarasota

Florida Life

Matt's roots in southwest Florida began in the mid-80s when his parents settled here. He established his Florida residency in the district in the mid-90s. Matt's hobbies include travel, hiking, swimming, playing the guitar, and vegetable gardening.  Matt is fluent in Spanish and Italian.

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