Alumni Highlight: Matthew Kennis

January 01, 2020

Congratulations to 2012 alumnus Matthew Kennis on his new role as Program Director with the Libertas Center for Human Rights, a torture survivor’s treatment center at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.

Matthew graduated from the Human Rights Studies MA program in 2012, with a primary focus on political transitions in the former Soviet Union. While at Columbia, he received a Kathryn Davis Fellowship to study intensive Russian at Middlebury College and carried out field research in Kyrgyzstan with support from the Harriman Institute.

Prior to Columbia, Matthew worked with various human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International USA. Since receiving his MA, Matthew has consulted for the Open Society Foundations and UN Women and worked as NY representative for Peace Direct, a UK peacebuilding NGO. Early in his career, he worked in Guatemala and Mexico with survivors of torture and internally displaced persons.