Matt Sonnesyn leads Business Roundtable’s infrastructure, energy, and environment policy and advocacy efforts, making the case for developing and maintaining a world-class infrastructure and supporting access to reliable, affordable energy while maintaining a clean, healthy environment – including addressing climate change.
In this capacity, Matt supports two member committees – the Energy and Environment Committee and the Infrastructure Committee. He also sits on the Steering Committee for United for Infrastructure. Earlier in his time at Business Roundtable, he led projects on immigration reform and on modernizing the nation’s air traffic control system.
During 2020, Matt led or co-led four different workstreams for Business Roundtable responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. As different regions of the country entered different levels of lockdown, he managed the effort to identify, vet, analyze, and advocate for critical workers and activities to be designated “essential,” resulting in most of the Roundtable’s recommendations being adopted by the US Department of Homeland Security and state governments across the nation. His next project focused on worker and customer safety guidelines, providing detailed recommendations to federal and state policymakers for different workplace settings, and advocating for consistent national guidelines. Later he managed a nationwide survey – the largest and most detailed of its kind at the time – to examine the views of consumers, workers, and employers during reopening to better inform businesses and policymakers on what steps would successfully support economic reengagement while continuing to promote safety. And, currently, Matt is co-leading work to chart a path toward a safer recovery from COVID-19, including by increasing focus and resources on Americans who are health- and exposure-vulnerable to the virus.
Throughout his career, Matt has focused on bridging the divide to develop policy solutions to difficult challenges – building support across both political parties and related interest groups. He has worked on a wide range of issues from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to in-sourcing brainpower to grow the U.S. economy to streamlining the confirmation of lower-tier executive nominations.
Prior to joining Business Roundtable, Matt spent a decade working for U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander in a number of roles, including as his Chief of Staff. He led work on the Senator’s signature America COMPETES Act, bipartisan legislation focused on improving the country’s competitive edge in science and technology. Matt also managed the day-to-day operations of the Senate Republican Conference, when it was chaired by Alexander, and led the Senator's work as Chairman of the Subcommittee on African Affairs.
Matt also served as policy director for two successful statewide campaigns in Tennessee – for Alexander in 2002 and for U.S. Senator Bob Corker in 2006. Before attending graduate school, he worked at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank.
Matt holds a B.A. in international relations and Spanish from Principia College and a Master’s of public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. Matt, his wife Allison, and their dog Obi, live in Washington, D.C.