Matt Mahan

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Matt Mahan
Mahan in 2023
66th Mayor of San Jose
Assumed office
January 1, 2023
Preceded bySam Liccardo
Member of the San Jose City Council
from the 10th district
In office
January 5, 2021 – January 1, 2023
Preceded byJohnny Khamis
Succeeded byArjun Batra
Personal details
Matthew William Mahan

1982 (age 41–42)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Silvia-Wedad Scandar
(m. 2012)
EducationHarvard University (BA)
WebsiteCampaign website

Matthew William Mahan (born 1982)[1] is an American politician and tech entrepreneur, now serving his first term as the Mayor of San Jose. He previously served as the District 10 Councilmember representing the Almaden ValleyBlossom Valley, and Vista Park neighborhoods.[2][3] Mahan also served as the co-founder and CEO of Brigade Media, a tech company focused on civic engagement.[4][5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Mahan was raised in Watsonville, California.[7] He attended Bellarmine College Preparatory, where his uncle California real estate developer Ed Thrift had previously attended,[8][9] on a low-income scholarship.[7] While in high school, Mahan worked with former State Senator Jim Beall and former Santa Clara Counsel Ann Ravel.[7]

Mahan graduated from Harvard University in 2005.[10] In college, Mahan served as President of the Harvard Undergraduate Council.[11]

Private Sector Career[edit]

After Harvard, Mahan spent a year building irrigation systems in Bolivia.[12] He then joined Teach for America where he was matched to Alum Rock Middle School.[12]

Mahan speaking at Web Summit 2015

In 2008, Mahan joined a tech startup led by Sean Parker and Joe Green.[10] Together, they formed Causes, an early Facebook application focused on grassroots and public engagement that helped raise money for nonprofit organizations.[13] Mahan became CEO and president of Causes in 2013.[10]

In 2014, Mahan launched Brigade with investments from Parker, Ron ConwayMarc Benioff, and others.[13] Brigade was created as a social medium for civic engagement.[6][13] In 2019, Brigade was acqui-hired by Pinterest and its technology was purchased by Countable.[13]

Electoral career[edit]

In early 2020, Mahan entered the San Jose City Council District 10 race.[12] He won with 58% of the vote, and in January 2021, was sworn in as the District 10 Council member for the city of San Jose.[14][15]

In September 2021, Mahan became a candidate for Mayor of San Jose, focusing on a platform of accountability in government. He proposed an accountability dashboard which would track progress on issues like crime and homelessness. He also pledged to end the current system of automatic raises for politicians and city department heads unless progress is shown.[16]

In November 2022, he was elected mayor of San Jose, defeating Santa Clara County supervisor Cindy Chavez. The term is two years and he will be up for re-election in 2024.[17]

He opposed an August 2023 deal with San Jose's municipal unions that raised employee wages and increased paid parental leave, arguing that the increased cost would lead to a budget deficit and force the city to cut services.[18] The deal did not require his approval to go into effect.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Mahan married Silvia-Wedad Scandar in 2012.[20] The couple met at Harvard in their freshman year at school.[21] They have two children and live in San Jose's Almaden Valley neighborhood.[22]

At Harvard, he lived in the same dorm as Mark Zuckerberg.[23]


  1. ^ Severson, Wesley. "Meet San Jose's new mayor, Matt Mahan, the city government rookie who edged out a political veteran". hoodline.
  2. ^ Vo, Thy (March 3, 2020). "Matt Mahan headed to victory for San Jose City Council; Kansen Chu ahead for county supervisor". The Mercury News. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  3. ^ "Matt Mahan". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  4. ^ Ferenstein, Greg (June 17, 2015). "Brigade: new social network from Facebook co-founder aims to 'repair democracy'". The Guardian. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  5. ^ "Editorial: In San Jose's District 10, we recommend Matt Mahan". The Mercury News. January 29, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "A power shift, a pandemic and San Jose's two new councilmembers". The Mercury News. January 2, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Wipf, Carly (November 25, 2020). "Matt Mahan prepares to take office as new District 10 councilmember". San Jose Spotlight. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  8. ^ Nguyen, Tran. "San Jose releases withheld Liccardo emails". San Jose Spotlight. Retrieved November 22, 2023.
  9. ^ "Name That Grad". Metro Silicon Valley. Metro Publishing Inc. April 22, 1999.
  10. ^ a b c Jennings, Duffy (November 2018). "CEO, Brigade, and Co-chair, Joint Venture Board of Directors". Joint Venture Silicon Valley. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  11. ^ Neyfakh, Leon. "Disillusioned at the Top". Harvard Crimson. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c Hase, Grace (February 27, 2020). "Election 2020: Three Candidates Vie for Open Seat in SJ's D10". San Jose Inside. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  13. ^ a b c d Constine, Josh (May 1, 2019). "Sean Parker's Brigade/Causes acquired by govtech app Countable". Tech Crunch. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  14. ^ Davis, Rachel (January 4, 2021). "Mayor Liccardo Celebrates Swearing-In of Councilmembers". City of San Jose. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  15. ^ "Matt Mahan Pulls Off Decisive Victory in San Jose's D10". San Jose Inside. March 4, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  16. ^ "San Jose Mayoral Candidate Matt Mahan". NBC Bay Area. May 6, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  17. ^ Woolfolk, John. "Mahan declares victory in San Jose mayor's race after Chavez calls to concede". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  18. ^ Munce, Megan (August 15, 2023). "San Jose city workers reach deal to avoid a strike; the mayor says it could harm city budget". San Francisco Chronicle.
  19. ^ Wolverton, Troy (August 16, 2023). "San Jose has approved new labor deals, despite opposition from Mayor Matt Mahan". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  20. ^ "Silvia-Wedad Scandar, Matthew Mahan". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  21. ^ Jennings, Duffy. "Meet Matt Mahan". Joint Venture Silicon Valley. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  22. ^ Severson, Wesley (November 17, 2023). "Meet San Jose's new mayor, Matt Mahan, the city government rookie who edged out a political veteran". Hoodline.
  23. ^ Corona, Chris. "Matt Mahan's Journey to Mayorship". Metro Silicon Valley. Retrieved November 12, 2022.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of San Jose