Penn State alumnus on the ground in Haiti helping lead relief efforts

January 19, 2010

University Park, Pa.— A Penn State alumnus who has been working in Haiti for about a decade has been among the leaders in helping to provide relief efforts to citizens since the nation was devastated by an earthquake on Jan. 12.

Matthew Marek, a 1998 Penn State College of the Liberal Arts graduate with a degree in economics, is director of programs in Haiti for the American Red Cross. A 36-year-old native of Plains Township in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Marek has been a major source of information for American media since the earthquake, which destroyed the Red Cross building where he worked in Port-Au-Prince.

To see an ABC News interview with Marek, go to

To see Marek interviewed by CNN's Anderson Cooper, go to

For a story on Marek from the Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Citizens' Voice, based near his hometown, go to

Photos by Marek from Haiti have been picked up by the Associated Press, as well. To view the American Red Cross photostream on Flickr, go to

After graduating from Penn State, Marek spent several years as an investment banker before joining the Peace Corps in an effort to see more of the world and help others along the way.

"When I got the chance to join the American Red Cross's work in Haiti, I jumped at the chance," Marek said in his Red Cross biography. "It seemed like a perfect fit. I don't want to sound too corny, but it's an honor to be associated with the emblem, and with what it stands for."

To donate to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which helps the victims of crises around the world each year, go to or call 1-800-REDCROSS. For other ways to contribute and efforts at Penn State to help the victims, visit


  • Matt Marek, director of programs in Haiti for the American Red Cross and a Penn State alumnus, with Jonathan Romelus at a First Aid Post in Croix Desprez. Jonathan lost his twin brother in the earthquake.

    IMAGE: Talia Frenkel

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010