Matt Chitwood, while on fellowship for two years, is living in rural Yunnan, China’s southwestern-most province. In his home village of Bangdong, population 350, he is surrounded by hillsides of tea, walnuts, and coffee – the lifeblood of his neighbors. Matt’s research and writing focuses on how infrastructure development in Yunnan is transforming its people, land, economy, and governance. For almost a decade Matt has worked in Greater China: Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, and Taipei. His work experience spans the business, education, and non-profit sectors, and includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the US State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship Program. In recent years, Matt has developed, managed, and taught for study abroad programs like CET, CIEE, and Where There Be Dragons. Matt holds a dual M.A. in China Studies and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He also completed the graduate certificate program at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. Matt attended undergrad at Northwest Nazarene University, a private Christian liberal arts school, where he majored in International Business and studied abroad in Central America with the CCCU. He speaks Chinese and Spanish. Matt is also an avid pianist-accordionist-ukuleleist and can throw a mean frisbee.
Dispatches from Matthew Chitwood
When tribe meets touristChina’s “last primitive tribal village” despoiled by cultural preservation.
China’s rural transformation in picturesOnce a backwater, Yunnan province is becoming a critical bridge to the world.
The Chinese art of tomb sweepingAn age-old ritual is changing with the times.