Headshot of Margareta Matache

Margareta (Magda) Matache, PhD

Lecturer, Director of the FXB Center Roma Program

Dr. Margareta (Magda) Matache is a Lecturer on Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the co-founder and Director of the Roma Program at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University. She is also a member of the O’Neill-Lancet Commission on Racism, Structural Discrimination and Global Health.

Dr. Matache’s research focuses on the manifestations and impacts of racism and other systems of oppression in different geographical and political contexts. Her research examines discrimination, reparations, social determinants of health—including education and social and economic disparities—and their nexus with the historical past and contemporary public policies, with a particular focus on anti-Roma racism. In 2017, she co-edited Realizing Roma Rights, an investigation of anti-Roma racism in Europe, in collaboration with Jacqueline Bhabha, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard Chan School, and Andrzej Mirga, former Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Senior Adviser on Roma and Sinti Issues and chief of the ODIHR Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues. Dr. Matache is also the co-editor of Time for Reparations, a 2021 volume exploring the issue of reparations across a broad range of historical and geographic contexts and academic disciplines, along with Jacqueline Bhabha and Caroline Elkins, Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

With more than 20 years of experience in activism and research, Dr. Matache has dedicated her work to advancing justice and Roma rights. To that end, she was engaged in creating Roma-related content with noted animator, author, and illustrator Glen Keane as well as award-winning documentary filmmaker Mona Nicoara.

Dr. Matache earned a BA in social work, an MA in European social policies, and a PhD in political science, all from the University of Bucharest, Romania and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. From 2005 to 2012, Dr. Matache was the Executive Director of Romani CRISS, a human rights organization that defends the rights of Roma people. In 2012, she was awarded the Hauser postdoctoral research fellowship at the Harvard Chan School’s François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights and became an instructor at the Harvard Chan School in 2014.