Matthew Libassi is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow placed at USAID’s Land and Resource Governance Division. He supports USAID programming on artisanal and small-scale mining, responsible mineral sourcing, land tenure, Indigenous Peoples, environmental defenders, and other topics at the intersection of resource governance and equity. Matt is an environmental social scientist with previous research on small-scale mining and conflicts around resource extraction.
Dr. Libassi holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, with a focus on Society and Environment, from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in International Studies from Vassar College.
Dr. Libassi has regional expertise in Southeast Asia. He has lived, taught, and conducted research in Indonesia, which has been the primary focus of his scholarly work. His work at USAID supports resource governance in a broader set of countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Prior to joining USAID, Matt worked as a university researcher and educator. He held a postdoctoral position with the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University, conducted research as a Fulbright awardee, studied environment and development at UC Berkeley, and taught academic writing at universities in Indonesia. He has published research on environmental politics, resource-based livelihoods, and mining conflicts in scientific journals including Geoforum, Political Geography, and The Extractive Industries and Society.