Matthew Friedman is an international human trafficking expert with more than 25 years of experience as a manager, program designer, evaluator, and front-line responder. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of The Mekong Club, an organization made up of Hong Kong-based private sector business leaders who have joined forces to help fight human trafficking in Asia.
From 2006 to 2012, Friedman was the Regional Project Manager of the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) in Thailand, an inter-agency coordinating body that linked the United Nations system with governments and civil society groups in China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Prior to this (1991-2006), Friedman worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Thailand, Bangladesh and Nepal . During this period, he designed and managed both country and regional human trafficking programs; helped to establish a range of comprehensive counter-trafficking initiatives focusing on prevention, prosecution and protection; and participated in the resource mobilization and the production of two award-winning international films about sex trafficking in Nepal and India.
Friedman also offers regular technical advice to numerous governments working to stop slavery. He is frequently cited in the news media on issues related to human trafficking and slavery across Asia (CNN, TVB, BBC, NYT, IHT, etc) and is invited to speak at major conferences around the world. He is the author of nine books, on subjects ranging from human trafficking to the ancient art of Bangladesh metal casting.