Margareta Matache


FXB Center for Health and Human Rights


Margareta (Magda) Matache is a Roma rights activist from Romania, director of the Roma Program at Harvard FXB,  and also a Harvard instructor. In 2012 she was awarded a Hauser postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard FXB and founded the Roma Program here at that time. The University of Pennyslvania Press published her latest book  Realizing Roma Rights in spring 2017. This volume, which she co-edited with Andrzej Mirga and FXB’s research director, Jacqueline Bhabha, investigates anti-Roma racism and documents a growing Roma-led political movement engaged in building a more inclusive and just Europe.

From 2005 to 2012, Margareta Matache was the Executive Director of Romani CRISS, a leading Roma rights organization that defends and promotes the rights of Roma. During her mandate, Romani CRISS took a stand against discrimination in landmark cases targeting the President, Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister of Romania at that time. Their advocacy and litigation efforts have also contributed to the approval of the domestic School Desegregation Bill.

Previously, she served as a youth worker and trainer on cultural diversity and minority rights, using non-formal education tools. She has also worked as an election observer for missions in Western Balkans and implemented regional projects, including “Roma and the Stability Pact in South-Eastern Europe” and “Roma use your ballot wisely,” for the OSCE/ODIHR.

She completed her Ph.D. in Political Sciences at the University of Bucharest. She holds a Master’s degree in European Social Policies.

Her publications and research have ranged over the rights, agency, and participation of Romani children and adolescents, early childhood development, anti-Roma racism, reparations, segregation in education, and participatory action research.