Matt Rohde was raised in Horicon, Wisconsin. Each summer during his college years he held a paid internship as a school janitor, where most of his post-secondary education took place. His first job after graduation was as a daytime bartender in a Milwaukee hotel, followed by several stints when he drove truck and loaded boxes at a cheese factory. He later completed a three-decade career with the federal government as the senior-most U.S. official responsible for multilateral trade policy coordination, including negotiations at the World Trade Organization, serving in the Executive Office of the President through several administrations. Throughout his government tenure as an attorney, analyst, trade negotiator, and advisor to cabinet officials, he was often called upon to give presentations at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, the FBI Academy, the National Security Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency. He holds a juris doctor degree and a bachelor of music, and is an accomplished classical pianist.