Matthew Burnett is Senior Program Officer for the Access to Justice Research Initiative at the American Bar Foundation (ABF) and visiting scholar for Justice Futures at Arizona State University. Prior to joining the ABF, Matthew was Senior Policy Officer at Open Society Foundations (OSF), where he worked to advance access to justice and legal empowerment through research, advocacy, litigation, and grantmaking in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the United States. Earlier in his career he co-founded and led the Immigration Advocates Network and served as law clerk to Justice Z.M. Yacoob of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

Matthew’s writing on access to justice and legal empowerment has appeared in more than 20 publications, and he has given more than 80 presentations and workshops around the world. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the World Bank, and the International Development Research Centre (Canada). Matthew currently serves as an advisor to the National Center for Access to Justice and is co-founder, with Rebecca Sandefur, of Frontline Justice.

He received a joint BA in philosophy (with distinction) and Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington (1999) and a JD from Seattle University School of Law (2005).