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Cmdr. Matthew Newland
Senior Policy Analyst serving in the Office of Global Affairs in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
The George Washington University
Even with a stellar resume, federal public health official finds M.B.A. a difference-maker
If life is measured in bullet points on a resume, then Matthew Newland doesn’t have much left to prove. He’s a senior policy advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He holds a Ph.D. and master’s in public health and sociology, and he earned another master’s in Southeastern Asian studies. And for good measure, he’s an Eagle Scout, too. But despite his many accomplishments, Matthew is still on a quest to make a difference in the world, which is why he turned to The George Washington University’s Online Healthcare M.B.A.
In global health care, budgeting, planning and financial knowledge are essential for maximizing relief efforts and public health initiatives. While working for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Matthew saw firsthand the need for more fiscal literacy.
“Our leadership made changes to redirect financial resources toward core services directly related to HIV treatment, or to areas with higher yield or epidemiological burden. It was about making the greatest impact and having the greatest efficiency of our funding,” he said. “I wanted to have a greater perspective of the problem.”
From studying abroad to studying online
Matthew always exhibited a curious spirit. When he was 20 years old, he took a study abroad trip to Thailand, China, Taiwan and Japan. At the time, news was breaking of an HIV epidemic in Asia, and what he saw in Thailand changed his life.
“As part of our work, we visited a mission run by a Baptist pastor, and she led us to her home where some girls were staying. Half of them had HIV,” he said. “It was very shocking to see girls being sold by their families into prostitution and getting HIV. I never saw or experienced something like it. That was the start of me getting into the health care industry.”
He would spend the better part of the next two decades in academia and public health studying HIV’s global impact. For years he knew the value an M.B.A. could have for his career, but he put it on the back burner until a colleague recommended GW’s online M.B.A.
A learning experience unlike any other
“[My colleague] said ‘Matt, when you are a branch chief, you’ll spend most of your time with budgets and personnel, and an M.B.A. will get you those skills,’” he said. “I knew I wanted an online program because an everyday commute would be too much. I discussed all the possibilities with my colleague, and she suggested GW. After comparing it to the rest, I knew not only would I get the M.B.A. online, but [I was glad] it was health care related.”
What Matthew found in the M.B.A. program was a learning experience unlike any he’d had — including his doctorate.
Viewing life through new lenses
“The benefits just go on and on — I see that on a daily basis. I have a much greater fiscal literacy — when they have articles about the economy in the news, health policy or issues happen in work environments and companies, it’s almost like I’m wearing a different set of lenses walking through life.”
He said even the premise of going back to school while working has helped his career.
“Not enough people in my line of work do that [online education]. It’s been a great advantage because people see it as above and beyond your regular duties.”
Matthew knows a thing or two about above and beyond. Throughout his life he has set goals, accomplished them and set new ones. There’s no telling what’s ahead for Matthew, but wherever his career leads him, his education and drive for excellence have prepared him for success.