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ASU alum and international affairs analyst returns to serve Sun Devil community


Headshot of Matthew Kimmel

Matthew Kimmel

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July 14, 2023

From ASU honors student to USAIDUnited States Agency for International Development program analyst, one former Sun Devil has returned to the ASU community to give back to the School of Politics and Global Studies. 

Matthew Kimmel is a member of the School of Politics and Global Studies’s Council of Friends, a group of alumni working to enhance students' experience. He earned his bachelor’s degree in global studies and a certificate in Arabic from Arizona State University as a Barrett, The Honors College student.

Kimmel said he had a detailed plan of what he wanted to do and ASU put him in the best position to achieve those goals. 

“I did my undergrad at ASU because the in-state tuition and academic scholarships allowed me to use my college savings to study abroad and gain some regional and language skills,” Kimmel said. “I then used those to get into one of the top feeder schools for the field I wanted to work with and leveraged that degree and the internship I had to get my foot in the door.”

During his time at ASU, Kimmel said he was “able to travel, write an honors thesis that became the basis for further work in graduate school, had excellent teachers via the learning community, and made a number of friends through my program that I am close to to this day.”

He went on to earn a master’s degree in international affairs from The Elliott School at George Washington University before returning to serve on the Council of Friends. 

The Council of Friends focuses its efforts on how to make the School of Politics and Global Studies programs better able to help students make connections to alumni and be better positioned to enter certain careers. 

“I greatly enjoy my time working with the Council of Friends. It not only gives me a chance to connect with a number of friends, it also allows me to contribute back to a program that has helped me so much on my path,” he said.

When he isn’t busy with his council duties, Kimmel is also a program analyst with USAID's Office of Budget and Resource Management, helping ensure that foreign assistance money is used strategically and in compliance with all relevant policies and laws.

“I honestly sort of stumbled into this career. I started as a staff assistant in USAID and then moved to the Department of State's Office of Foreign Assistance where I was thrust into the deep end of all things foreign aid,” Kimmel said. “While there, I discovered it was something I found interesting, and something I had a talent for working in.”

Kimmel is just one of many members of the Council of Friends, all of whom are serving in order to give back to the community and school that helped them along their journey to where they are today. 

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