By Marlena Chavira-Medford
Staff WriterBrett Mattei, who grew up in Del Mar, is a distinguished diplomat, something he said he couldn’t have achieved were it not for the Del Mar Rotary Club. The group sponsored a scholarship for him though the Rotary International Graduate Fellow program, allowing him to study in Uppsala, Sweden. From there, he served in the U.S. Department of State for many years with assignments all over the world. His work has been acknowledged by multiple awards and citations for valor and courage in conflict zones, including the Department of State’s individual and group Meritorious Honor Award (five) and Superior Honor Award (three).
Most recently, he served at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, where he oversaw security and justice reform. His next diplomatic assignment will be at the U.S. Consulate General in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Before heading to his next post, Mattei spoke during the Oct. 7 Del Mar Rotary Club luncheon to personally thank the Rotarians who helped him achieve such success.
“What [Del Mar Rotary] does for people like me is so important,” he told the audience. ""I was rough-around-the-edges as a kid, but Rotary helped smooth those edges out. You guys are great. Thank you. I know you’re having a similar effect on others.”