Director of Research, Business Roundtable
Matt Sonnesyn is Director of Research at the Business Roundtable. In this role, he is responsible for the comprehensive research and development of new public policy initiatives. Sonnesyn also oversees the new Select Committee on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, promoting a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that will help drive U.S. economic growth and keep the American workforce globally competitive.
Throughout his career, Sonnesyn has specialized in finding the best policy ideas and advancing them in the political arena with bipartisan support. He has worked on a wide range of issues: in-sourcing brainpower to grow the U.S. economy; investing in basic scientific research; improving the teaching of science, technology, engineering, and math; preventing and treating HIV/AIDS in Africa; promoting nuclear power as part of a balanced approach to low-cost, clean energy; enacting the bipartisan recommendations of the Iraq Study Group; reducing the federal deficit; incenting and supporting immigrants to better integrate into American society; streamlining the confirmation of lower-tier executive nominations; and many others.
Prior to joining BRT, Sonnesyn spent a decade working for U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and on Capitol Hill. He led work on the Senator’s signature America COMPETES Act, far-reaching bipartisan legislation focused on improving the country’s competitive edge in science and technology. Sonnesyn also led the day-to-day operations when Alexander took over the Senate Republican Conference, and managed Alexander’s assignment as Chairman of the Subcommittee on African Affairs.
Sonnesyn also served as policy director for two statewide campaigns in Tennessee – for Alexander in 2002 and for U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) in 2006. He was part of the team that, in six weeks, turned Corker’s campaign around from being down by three percent to winning by the same margin. Corker was the only newly-elected Republican to join the Senate that year.
Before attending graduate school, Sonnesyn worked at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank. Sonnesyn holds a B.A. in international relations and Spanish from Principia College and a master’s of public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Kennedy Fellow. He resides in Washington, D.C.