UNH Cooperative Extension is pleased to welcome Matt Marzolo to the Community and Economic Development program team. Matt recently started his role as state specialist, based on UNH’s Durham campus, where he will help to lead Extension’s programming in economic development. His areas of focus will include business expansion and retention, entrepreneurial ecosystem development, workforce development, industry sector development, main street vitality, and regional economic development.
Matt is coming to us from international development, where he worked for over a dozen years working in economic development programs around Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He is originally from rural Michigan and maintains a deep passion for working with rural, remote communities to help them build vibrant local economies. In fact, Matt’s time working in international development gave him opportunities to work in rural places around the world to combat poverty, support agricultural development for smallholder farmers, preserve water resources, and increase economic and social opportunities for disadvantaged women.
Matt’s particular expertise is with Market System Development (MSD), an approach that helps economic sectors grow while enhancing the ways that communities interact with the markets that provide them with jobs, income and access to services.
Other previous roles that Matt has held over the past twelve years include Deputy Chief of Party for Mercy Corps in Amman, Jordan; Wealth Generation Pathways Technical Advisory for Project Concern International; and Country Director of Action for Enterprise in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
When asked about the biggest challenge facing the state, Matt said, “Housing is certainly a challenge for many working families, including my own, as it places a huge economic burden on families, ultimately impacting peoples’ ability to live, work, and thrive in the state.”
Charlie French, Program Leader for Community and Economic Development noted, “Matt has a deep skillset helping rural communities around the world to develop viable economic systems. His approach to market system development will be incredibly useful in helping us to tackle issues like housing affordability and energy resilience in New Hampshire.”
Matt holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Sciences from Grand Valley State University.
We hope that you will take a moment to welcome Matt to UNH Extension!