Matt Castelli is a former CIA officer and Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council who served in both the Obama and Trump White Houses. He lives in Saratoga County and is running as a Democrat to defeat Elise Stefanik and represent the people of NY’s 21st Congressional District.
Matt has dedicated his life to serving our country and community. He grew up in Upstate New York, down the road from a dairy farm. Matt learned early-on the importance of integrity and honoring your word. His mom is a lifelong Republican and his dad is a lifelong Democrat, and they taught him the importance of putting your differences aside and working together.
Matt’s mom taught at a Catholic elementary school and his dad worked at IBM for 35 years, dodging multiple rounds of layoffs and outsourcing. Matt’s grandfather was a doctor and an Army veteran. Matt’s other grandparents immigrated from Italy and his grandmother’s name is etched into the wall at Ellis Island.
Together with his Catholic church community, Matt’s parents instilled in him and his siblings the values of purpose, patriotism, and service.
After the 9/11 attacks, Matt focused his life’s work on protecting our country through counterterrorism and national security. He became a CIA Officer, where he led intelligence collection and counterterrorism operations; serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Matt’s team hunted down some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, working within the same unit that found Osama Bin Laden.
Matt’s success at the CIA led to the opportunity to serve as Director for Counterterrorism at President Obama’s National Security Council. In that role, he developed strategy, policy, and operations to keep America safe from terrorism and extremism. His work degraded Al Qaeda and ISIS, and strengthened security cooperation with our allies.
In 2020, as the world faced a devastating pandemic, Matt took a leadership position with a veteran-founded New York based technology company dedicated to eliminating barriers to health care for veterans, rural communities, and minorities.
After Matt watched domestic terrorists attack the U.S. Capitol and police officers on January 6, 2021, and put our democracy at risk, he decided to run for Congress. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Matt took the same oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. She violated her oath, and Matt is running against her to continue to uphold his.
Matt graduated from Siena College. He holds graduate degrees from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.