Matthew L. Bishop, Ph.D.
(706) 542-6201

Current Position

Matt Bishop serves as the director of the University of Georgia's J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, an interdisciplinary unit of UGA's Office of Public Service and Outreach.

He is responsible for the Institute's overall strategic direction and programmatic operations to fulfill its mission to strengthen communities, organizations, and individuals through leadership development, education, and training. He leads a team of 35 faculty, staff, and students in designing and delivering leadership programs that focus on community, non-profit, and youth audiences.

Current Activities and Expertise

As director, he leads a multi-disciplinary faculty that works directly with individuals, community and civic groups, non-profit organizations, and youth and adult-based leadership organizations to develop and implement leadership development programming. Bishop has an extensive background in leadership and community economic development, community visioning, strategic planning, and group facilitation processes.

Previous Experience

Prior to being named director in 2012, Bishop served as coordinator of operations for UGA’s Archway Partnership where he was instrumental in helping Archway expand from three to eight communities. His 15-year career at UGA includes serving on the faculty of the Fanning Institute and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, and as the principal investigator for UGA’s Initiative on Poverty and the Economy.

Before joining the University of Georgia, Bishop served as associate director of the Governor’s Rural Development Council and as regional resource coordinator for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

In addition to his professional experience, Bishops serves on the boards of the Jekyll Island Foundation and of LEAD Athens. He presently serves as vice president of Leadership Georgia.

He is involved in the Rotary Club of Athens, is a member of the Athens-Clarke County SPLOST Oversight Committee, coaches in Athens Little League, and serves as a Sunday school teacher and elder at Athens First Presbyterian Church.


  • 1997, B.A., political science, Presbyterian College
  • 1999, M.P.A., public administration, University of Georgia
  • 2012, Ph.D., public administration, University of Georgia


  • 2013 University of Georgia’s Walter Barnard Hill Award, which recognizes distinguished achievement in public service and outreach by UGA faculty and public service professionals
  • 2013 Presbyterian College's Young Alumnus of the Year Award
  • 2013 Georgia Trend's 40 under 40


  • Leadership Georgia
  • L.E.A.D. Athens Steering Committee
  • Community Developers Forum

Professional Organizations

  • International Leadership Association
  • Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives