As a 23-year-old campaign staffer, Matt Bennett helped stage the infamous “Dukakis in a tank" photo-op that helped sink Michael Dukakis' 1988 presidential campaign. Matt would never again put a candidate in a tank (other than a think tank), but now he's a long-serving veteran of many political wars.

His pursuit of center-left politics has taken Matt from the campaign trail to the White House, and from the pages of The New York Times to appearances on Meet the Press and 60 Minutes. He worked on both of the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton, his political hero. He served as Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs in the Clinton White House, where he was the principal White House liaison to governors and covered issues ranging from disaster response to Medicaid to immigration. Prior to that, Matt traveled with Vice President Al Gore on his White House staff. He was Director of Communications for Wesley Clark's presidential campaign in 2004, and from 2001-2004 he was Director of Public Affairs for Americans for Gun Safety.

In 2005, Matt joined his three fellow co-founders in establishing Third Way, believing that there is a tremendous need for fresh thinking and moderate ideas in a time of extreme political immoderation. Matt loves coming to work every day to take on the big questions our country faces with some of the people he respects most in the world. He considers helping to extend marriage equality to gays and lesbians one of Third Way's proudest achievements so far.

Matt earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and his bachelor's degree in History from the University of Pennsylvania. But he grew up in Syracuse, and his blood—and loyalties—run Orange. He's been a short-order cook, a room service waiter, a busboy, and a dishwasher, but the high point of Matt's professional life was meeting Nelson Mandela. The literal high point of his life was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Matt lives outside Washington, D.C. with his wife and two boys, and he goes skiing with them every chance he gets.

Follow Matt on Twitter @ThirdWayMattB

Thirdway in the News
The Atlantic
Published January 10, 2020

The Story Elizabeth Warren Isn’t Telling

Thirdway in the News
Financial Times
Published December 12, 2019

Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren battle over their corporate pasts

Thirdway in the News
Published December 5, 2019

NBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle - Matt Bennett

Thirdway in the News
USA Today
Published December 2, 2019

Three 2020 candidates dropped out in less than 48 hours. Here's what it means.

Thirdway in the News
The New York Times
Published November 14, 2019

How to Build a 2020 Campaign in Less Than 90 Days: Deval Patrick Edition


Support Third WayMake a Donation

Third Way is a non-profit organization. Our policy innovations, rigorous research, and issue campaigns are made possible by the sustained engagement and generous contributions of our supporters. For more information on how to support the work of Third Way, please contact:

Emily Sternfeld
Director of Development and External Affairs
(202) 384 1700


Get updates whenever new content is added. We’ll never share your email with anyone.