Alumni in DC and Silicon Valley

Matt Martin ‘99 organizes politicians for public good.  He works in Washington DC for The NewDEAL, a not-for-profit he helped launch in 2009.  It’s a network of over 100 pro-growth progressive state and local elected leaders from around the country who focus on innovative ways to unlock economic opportunity for people in the changing economy. Matt does everything from finding rising political stars, connecting them to ideas, and pitching supporters.  

He also coaches lacrosse for “a small but scrappy band of disadvantaged middle schoolers.”  Matt graduated from Hotchkiss and Bowdoin after Parker.  He says,

When politics make me feel cynical or the kids I coach wear me out, I find myself thinking back to what Susie Merrett, Laura Mandelson, Priscilla Fairbank, and Mrs. Oko taught me about the value of open-mindedness, empathy, and grit.


Katherine Brainard ’99 works on privacy engineering at Google, where she’s helping form a new team that builds tools to protect user data.  She says Google is fun and definitely lives up to its hype as a company!  Katherine attended Niskayuna High, then Stanford where she got an undergraduate degree in  Symbolic Systems (a combination of psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and computer science), and a master’s in Computer Science with a focus on artificial intelligence.  

After Stanford, she stuck around in Silicon Valley, working at then-startup Palantir Technologies, a company that builds software for massive data processing applied in areas like cyber fraud, counter-terrorism and disease tracking.  

Outside of work, Katherine rides her horse, JonJon and makes mead, jam and cheese from scratch.  She says, “Next I’ll try building a press to make cider.”  About her years at Parker, Katherine says,

Parker gave me a love of learning that I think has stayed with me – the focus on the process of learning as intrinsically valuable shaped how I approached school, and was a key factor in choosing where I wanted to work. Both the companies I’ve worked for gave me a chance to learn and develop new skills, and the freedom to work on challenging, interesting projects.