Nancy Matthews, as the wife of a Foreign Service Officer, has spent most of her adult life in the international field. After returning from Cairo in 1980, where her husband served as Deputy Chief of Mission, she worked on a number of international conferences and exchanges. In 1983, she joined the staff of Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C. In 1992, she was appointed Vice President for Arts and Communication and then Vice President for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
Mrs. Matthews directed the founding and growth of Meridian’s international exhibitions program and the establishment of Meridian’s highly successful Traveling Exhibition Service. She organized major exhibitions from many countries, including Vietnam, South Africa, Iran and China, bringing them to the United States and sending them on tour throughout the U.S. She also organized exhibitions of American contemporary art which traveled abroad, including True Colors, a unique exhibition which toured both nationally and internationally, and sought to express the strength of the American spirit following 9/11. The underlying purpose of these projects was to carry out Meridian’s mission to promote international understanding.
Mrs. Matthews is a graduate of Connecticut College. As the wife of Foreign Service Officer H. Freeman Matthews, Jr., she traveled and lived abroad extensively. She became involved in the arts in each of the countries in which they served. In 1979, she founded a magazine, “Cairo Today,” while on post in Egypt. She has written and produced numerous exhibition catalogues and, as a freelance writer, has published a variety of articles.
She retired from Meridian in January 2008 and presently serves as a consultant on cultural exchange.