Mathew Sanders leads state-level efforts to plan for and build resilience to current and future climate-related disaster impacts for Pew’s U.S. conservation project. In this role, he works directly with state governments and community leaders to advocate for, develop, and implement comprehensive policies and plans for various risks, including floods, wildfires, extreme heat, and droughts.
Before joining Pew, Sanders worked in Louisiana state government, with a specific focus on post-disaster recovery and long-term disaster resilience planning. Notably, he led the development of Louisiana’s successful application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-sponsored National Disaster Resilience Competition, and upon receipt of a $92.6 million award was the principal planner in development of both funded projects—Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments and the relocation of Isle de Jean Charles in remote coastal Louisiana. Sanders was a Route Fifty Navigator Award recipient in The Leaders category for excellence and achievement in state government. Prior to working in Louisiana, Sanders did land use planning for the New York City government and was a journalist in Jackson, Mississippi.
Sanders holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University and a master’s in urban planning from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He is also accredited by the American Planning Association’s American Institute of Certified Planners and has been a frequent guest lecturer at Columbia University, Tulane University, Louisiana State University, and other academic institutions.