Matthew K. Poland Biography

Matt Poland was appointed the eleventh director of Russell Library in February 2016. 
Prior to joining the Library, Matt served as Deputy Administrator and Interim Director of Hartford Public Library from 2008 to 2009 when he was appointed as Hartford’s ninth leader since 1893 and its first chief executive officer, serving in that capacity through 2015. Under Matt’s leadership Hartford Public Library won numerous awards, including being named one of fifteen finalists for the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ National Service Award in 2013 and 2014.

Prior to joining the Library, Poland was senior vice president and general manager for Work/Life Innovations, an award-winning employee assistance and work/life programming organization. He was also senior vice president for human resources at Community Newspaper Company and Veritude, both Fidelity Investments Companies in Boston. Before Boston, Matt worked at The Hartford Courant where he held the positions of vice president for human resources and community affairs, vice president for operations, production director, and director of employee relations. He began his career in retail banking and human resources in the financial services sector in Hartford.

Poland received his bachelor’s degree with honors in philosophy and literature from St. John’s College Seminary (Boston, MA). He also has completed executive leadership and management programs at Harvard University, Babson College, University of Southern California, and the Times Mirror Executive Leadership Institute.

He serves as Chair of the Urban Libraries Council, is a board member for Hartford Performs, a corporator for Hartford Hospital and the iQuilt Partnership, and serves on the leadership committee and policy cabinet of MoveUP!.  Poland is also member of the American Library Association, the Connecticut Library Association, Leadership Greater Hartford, and the Society for Human Resources Management. He is a LeadBoston Fellow and a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.  Hartford Magazine named him one of Hartford’s Most Influential People in 2013.

Poland was a member and former chairman of the Hartford Board of Education and a member of the Community Steering Committee of Opportunities Hartford. He has served as a board member at Camp Courant, Riverfront Recapture, Greater Hartford Arts Council, TheaterWorks, the National Conference for Community and Justice (Hartford affiliate), Capital Workforce Development Board, The Hartford Courant Foundation, and he served as the chair of the Allocations Sub-Committee for the United Way of Massachusetts Bay. He was also a certified instructor on ethical decision-making for the Times Mirror Management Institute.

Poland is a native and resident of Hartford CT.