Ms. Matthews is an associate researcher at Spark Policy Institute. She brings experience as a bilingual (Spanish and English) policy researcher and analyst with domestic and international experience using quantitative, qualitative, and spatial analysis methods to model complex systems, analyze disparities, and inform policy formation and implementation. Caitlin has collaborated across public, nonprofit, and academic sectors, employing critical listening and communication skills to engage diverse stakeholders. Caitlin’s recent domestic research has centered on food access disparities across urban communities in Massachusetts, and her recent international research has focused on food security, regional self-reliance, and rural livelihoods in the Department of La Paz, Bolivia.
Prior to joining the Spark team, Caitlin worked as a Spanish Immersion teacher in Portland Public Schools in Portland, Oregon, where she piloted Spanish programs at two middle schools. Through her work as an educator and with students and families with limited English proficiency, Caitlin solidified her commitment to working for socially equitable and just access to critical resources such as education, food, housing, and employment. Additionally, Caitlin has worked in the non-profit sphere to increase food access, promote sustainable agriculture, and support microenterprise development with low income Latina women and families. This previous work has imprinted Caitlin with a conviction that language justice is essential to equitable outcomes in a multicultural society.
Caitlin holds a Master of Science in Agriculture, Food & Environment from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University and a Master of Arts in Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning also from Tufts University. While at Tufts, Caitlin designed and executed research as an Environmental Research Fellow at the Tufts Institute of the Environment. Caitlin also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching for secondary level Spanish from Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education & Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a focus in Conservation Biology from Middlebury College.
Outside of work, Caitlin enjoys active and creative pursuits, including running, rock climbing, backpacking, and yoga as well as drawing, painting, quilting, and gardening. As often as possible, she escapes to the mountains.