Staff Profile: Matt Hartill
Tell us a little about your background.
This past May I graduated from the College of William & Mary with a Bachelor’s Degree in Government. I spent the bulk of my time there participating in and running Model United Nations conferences, doing civil liberties research, and working at our coffee shop the Daily Grind. Those experiences, along with plenty of caffeine, helped me land a spot at Reason Foundation through the Koch Internship Program, find out about AFF, and eventually end up where I am today.
How did you form your political beliefs?
Coming from New York, it took me a while to come around to libertarian ideas. The short version is: I went from being staunchly liberal, to a skeptic and a cynic (I almost gave up on voting), to someone who believes in keeping an open mind while sticking to a few core principles. Our world is rapidly changing so that people can make more choices, and even more importantly, better choices. It seems to me that politics has to gradually adapt to these changes, by allowing people more autonomy over how they relate to themselves and others.
How did you become involved with AFF? What attracted you to the organization?
AFF was on my radar from when I first got to DC. I wanted to make the most of my first internship so I attended Welcome to Washington, met some great people and wanted to stay involved.
What do you do at AFF, and what future do you see for the organization?
My title is Digital Associate, so I focus on our digital marketing, social media engagement, and overall web presence. AFF has been growing in terms of how many people it reaches and I expect that to continue. What’s even more exciting though, is we’re getting opportunities to enhance the quality of our programs and services too. So in my role, I hope to strengthen the conversation between AFF and the young professionals we work with to keep creating value for them. Ultimately that means delivering content, programs, and opportunities that are uniquely beneficial.
Do you have any advice for young professionals breaking into the policy/liberty movement?
Pursue things that interest you rather than just things that seem important. When you have experiences that you are genuinely passionate about, you learn a lot more and that will resonate with others.
I’m really bad at picking favorites. Her is probably the most engaging and thought provoking movie I’ve seen.
Three-way tie between The Things They Carried, All the King’s Men, and Brave New World.
Favorite Sports Team
I’m not a big fan of team sports; maybe it has to do with my passion for individual liberty but I’ve always had way more interest in extreme sports like surfing, skateboarding, and most recently rock climbing. People like Alex Honnold and Laird Hamilton are pushing the boundaries of human achievement a lot more than I think any traditional athlete is.
This post is the first entry in our Staff Profile series. Matthew Hartill is a Digital Associate at America’s Future Foundation.