Associate Director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute
Matt Baughman joined the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute as its development officer on July 1, 1998. He was named assistant director in February 2005 following an administrative restructuring. In November 2008, Matt was named interim director upon the retirement of Mike Lawrence. He now serves as the institute’s associate director.
Matt has also served as an integral part of the planning and implementation of many of the institute's initiatives and as the point person for arranging campus visits by its list of notable speakers.
At its inception in 1997, Paul Simon established a goal of building a $10 million endowment for the institute. Under Matt's management of fundraising efforts, the institute met that target through a variety of gifts, grants, pledges, estate plan commitments and investment growth of the endowment principal. Matt also manages the institute's day-to-day operations, event planning, budget and personnel matters.
Upon the death of Paul Simon in December 2003, Matt worked closely with the Simon family to spearhead the planning of Simon's funeral--one of the largest in Illinois history with attendance by some 5,000 people and statewide and national broadcasts.
In 2001, Matt participated in Southern Illinois University's mission trip to Cuba and was among a small group with Senator Simon that met for six hours with Fidel Castro to discuss U.S.-Cuban relations.
A graduate of Illinois College, Matt was honored by that institution by being named its 1994 Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. He also earned an MBA from SIU Carbondale in 1997. In 1994, Matt was selected for the prestigious Dunn Fellowship Program, spending a full year working in the press office of Illinois Governor Jim Edgar.
In 2009, Matt received the Young Alumnus of the Year Award from Illinois College.
Matt and his wife Angie, pastor of Vergennes Faith United Methodist Church, reside in Carbondale with their sons Alex and Josh.