Kathleen Matthews stopped by Kensington Park after announcing her candidacy for Maryland’s 8th District seat in the House of Representatives. We were honored to be the very first stop on her campaign trail.
You may remember Kathleen as a longtime news anchor and reporter for WJLA ABC-7 where she reported from behind the anchor desk and in our community. But as much as you have seen and heard her, you probably don’t really know her.
Kathleen brings a unique set of experiences and a deep commitment to women and children that will make her an effective Congresswoman, a compelling advocate for our community and a tireless and effective fighter for Democratic values.
Her interest in public policy and politics began in college at Stanford University. She saw a local Congressman, Pete McCloskey, stand up to Republicans and challenge Richard Nixon. She saw the power of a people-powered movement to remove a President and to stop a war. From that experience, she was hooked on doing something that would make a difference.
So, she moved to Washington in 1975 and started a 30-year career as a journalist. At WJLA, many of her stories focused on education, healthcare, and equality in the work place. She produced and hosted a nationally syndicated talk show called, “Working Women” which profiled local professional women and highlighted the successes and challenges of being a woman, working and raising children.
For Kathleen, this wasn’t a theoretical issue. It’s something she understood from her own life. Kathleen and her husband, Chris Mathews (MSNBC host and former aide to House Speaker Tip O’Neill) have been married over 35 years, live in Montgomery County and are raising three children. (Note: while the youngest is out of college, Kathleen believes you are never done raising kids. Even when they no longer live at home!)
In 2006, Kathleen joined one of Maryland’s largest and most respected employers, Marriott International, as Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer, Kathleen lead the company’s sustainability strategy as co-chair of the Green Council and served on Marriott’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council. She brought her focus on women to that job by leading efforts at Marriott to support partnerships with women-owned businesses worldwide, and programs to train and mentor women for hotel careers in Rwanda, Haiti, India and the U.S.
In addition to her professional life, Kathleen is an advocate for opportunity for women and children at home and abroad. She chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Travel and Tourism and has served on the boards of the Black Student Fund, Catholic Charities of Washington DC and Maryland and Suited for Change, an organization that supports low-income women moving from welfare to work.