2023 Tillman Scholar

Marvin Dee Mathelier

Marine Corps
Columbia University

“Today, the disparity between rich and poor countries continues to grow. As a son of immigrants, I want to find ways to decrease that gap by helping developing countries strive.”

Marvin Mathelier is a candidate for a master’s in public administration at Columbia University’s School of International Public Affairs. Marvin lives in Boston with his family where he is co-owner of Ula Cafe, a community gathering space, cafe, and bakery with a mission in social impact and social justice. He is also a major in the Marine Corps Reserves. As part of the Marine Corps’ Civil Affairs unit, Marvin deploys to Latin American and Caribbean countries to assist partner nations in humanitarian aid, development efforts, and security cooperation missions. 

In Boston, Marvin is spearheading the development of New England’s first Haitian Cultural Center. The center will provide a safe space for the Haitian-American community to celebrate their culture and share their values with other communities. Additionally, the Conflict Research Society (CRS) selected Marvin’s article, “Gendered Implementation of the Global Fragility Act: A Case for Haiti” to be presented at King’s College, London this fall. Marvin’s hope with this article is to enable policymakers to rethink development in Haiti with a gender-focus solution. 

With an MPA, Marvin plans to better understand the problems in Haiti and find career opportunities that are geared towards addressing these issues. He aspires to become a U.S defense attache reservist in Haiti, where he can craft bilateral security policies to increase safety in the country. With a safer Haiti, Haitians can flourish and prosper, while simultaneously mitigating the migrant issues we see in the United States and building a stronger partnership between both countries.