To the world, Matt Anestis is an international leader in business and finance. To Presidential Scholars, he’s a 1991 honoree from Connecticut and a founder of our Alumni Association.
“Matt was the spark that ignited this organization,” says Brian Abrams, president of the Presidential Scholars Foundation. Says John Knox, chairman of the Alumni Board, "Matt Anestis restarted our group over a decade ago and has laid the groundwork for everything that has followed. His steady leadership informs, either directly or by example, every decision we make."
Matt holds an undergraduate degree in economics, an MBA, and a JD—all from Harvard and all earned with honors. After college, he completed internships at Microsoft and in the Clinton White House. In 2006, the World Economic Forum honored him as a Young Global Leader.
Matt is now chief of staff to the president and COO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. He also leads BlackRock’s Platform Innovation group, which prepares the company for possible financial crises worldwide. Prior to joining BlackRock in 2009, he was a partner and managing director with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Hong Kong.
In the early 2000s, he and college friend Avery Gardiner (’93, ME) breathed life into the Alumni Association, an idea whose time had come. Matt thinks that Scholars underplay the fact that theirs is the highest award that the U. S. government gives to high school seniors. “That’s a really big deal!” he says, one not to be forgotten quickly.
Matt feels that the Alumni Association promotes collaboration among scholars over a lifetime, not just during National Recognition Program. National Recognition Program (NRP) is the first time that many Scholars interact with a community of young people from all over the country who have worked hard to excel in many different ways. “That experience is eye-opening and sometimes leads to lifelong friendships”, Matt says. Because of Matt and Avery, the Alumni Association works to carry those connections forward and create new ones with Scholars from different classes.
Matt praises the progress that the Alumni Association has made since his initial organizational efforts. “I'm happy to see how this has become a continuously living organization that has outpaced what we did at the start”, he says.