Matt Sutton

Director, Communications

Matt Sutton is the Director of Communications for the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO). In this role, he oversees the organization’s communications and marketing efforts, including campaign development, messaging/narrative shifting, media relations, digital communications, content production, and storytelling.

Prior to joining CEO, Matt served as the Director of External Relations & Communications Strategy for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). In that role, he worked with the media and other external stakeholders to shift the public narrative around drugs and the people involved with them. Matt worked closely on a number of campaigns, including leading the communications for Oregon’s Measure 110, which decriminalized possession of all drugs and has already created over $300 million in funding for voluntary health services, housing, and other supports.

Before that, Matt worked in various policy communications capacities for national advocacy organizations, NGOs, trade associations, and Fortune 500 companies. There, he played critical roles in connecting key stakeholders and employing media relations strategies that were instrumental in increasing awareness, shifting public perception, and passage of various state and national legislation.

He began his career in community organizing in his hometown of El Paso, then leading the communications for Beto O’Rourke’s successful congressional campaign—in which he beat the odds and overcame what were, at the time, controversial views of ending the war on drugs—to ultimately defeat the eight-term incumbent in what was called one of the three biggest upsets of the 2012 elections.

Matt’s passion for this work stems from his own experience being charged with felony drug possession at 18 years old and spending the first eight years of his adult life navigating the Texas criminal legal system. Following Matt’s involvement with the criminal legal system, he completed a B.A. in political communications at George Washington University.

Matt is also a JustLeadershipUSA Leading With Conviction 2023 Alumni.