Discovering Justice Names Matt Wilson as Executive Director
Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson

October 15, 2020 — Discovering Justice, a Boston-based nonprofit that works with the legal community to provide civic education programs to students, this week announced Matt Wilson has been named as its new executive director.

Wilson succeeds Jon Spack, who served as executive director for nearly four years when he stepped down from the post in February 2019. Ann Gogol, now chief operating officer at Discovering Justice, had served as interim executive director.

Wilson has been a nonprofit executive in Massachusetts for three decades, most recently finishing a seven-year stint as the founding executive director of MASSCreative, the state’s advocacy group for the arts and creative community.

“Matt brings a history of building and managing nonprofits that educate, prepare, and engage students and Massachusetts residents for civic actions,” said Tony Jordan, board president of Discovering Justice. “Especially in the current environment, Matt is the kind of leader we need to take Discovering Justice into the future and best serve our constituents.”

As a community organizer, public advocate, fundraiser, and trainer, Wilson has led campaigns for a cleaner environment, affordable and accessible health care, and increased investment in the arts.

“I am excited about the opportunity to grow Discovering Justice’s programs that help students explore the ideals of justice and understand the workings of the justice system. There has never been a more important time to invest and engage in civic education,” said Wilson.

“I look forward to continuing Discovering Justice’s two decade long history of working with lawyers, judges, teachers, and community advocates to prepare the next generation to steward our fragile democracy.”

Under Wilson’s direction, MASSCreative grew to more than 400 organizational members with 25,000 individuals taking part in public education and advocacy actions. In his tenure, arts funding in Massachusetts doubled; his advocacy work helped implement state policies to increase access and participation to quality arts education.

As the director of Toxics Action Center from 1989 to 2005, Wilson built the organization into a New England-wide resource for hundreds of neighborhoods working to protect themselves from pollution threats.

Wilson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Dartmouth College, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Founded in 1998 with the support of the federal judiciary at the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse and the Boston Bar Foundation, Discovering Justice has worked to educate the public about the role of the justice system in American democracy. Discovering Justice provides civic and justice focused programs to students and educators across the state, and enlists volunteers to educate the public about the justice system and create a vibrant center for civic engagement.

For the year ending June 30, 2019, Discovering Justice reported $1.1 million in revenue, of which $735,000 came from contributions and grants, and $1.1 million in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing.