Matthew Swaya

Matt serves on the board of Liminal Space as a trustee. He retired as senior vice president, deputy general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer at Starbucks Coffee Company in 2018. Matt joined Starbucks in 1997 and held several senior leadership positions during his nearly 22 years of service. In his role as Starbucks CECO, Matt set the vision and direction for a diverse team of 28 ethics and compliance professionals; worked with senior leaders and the Audit & Compliance Committee of the Board of Directors to align on strategies to support the company’s values and help manage legal compliance; and provided solutions to support 300,000 employees in over 71 countries to enable sustainable growth of Starbucks portfolio of brands. During Matt’s tenure, Starbucks Business Ethics and Compliance team was comprised of partners (employees) across the globe working to promote ethical business practices and bolster Starbucks culture and values. Matt and his team developed and implemented programs and initiatives such as risk assessments; compliance training; conducting internal investigations; developing enterprise policies and consulting with leaders to help the company manage legal and regulatory risk. Starbucks was recognized among the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute for twelve consecutive years.

In addition to his CECO role, Matt served as general counsel to the Americas and Global Human Resources Leadership teams, was responsible for Business Continuity and Crisis Management and served as the principal lawyer for Starbucks global labor and employment matters. Matt also led the Litigation Legal Practice and the Commercial Legal Practice Groups, supporting the company’s major business transactions and contracts with suppliers, vendors and business partners. He was also a leader in Starbucks Law and Corporate Affairs department.

Matt is an elected Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Class of 2009. He was recognized as the 2015 Distinguished Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer by the New York Stock Exchange Compliance Services. He served on the Executive Committee of the Chief Litigation Counsel Association and the Advisory Board of the American Employment Law Council.

Prior to joining Starbucks, Matt was a partner at Lane Powell, LLP in Seattle, Washington. Previously, he worked in house for both Pan American World Airways and Trans World Airlines. Matt earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and his Juris Doctorate degree from Brooklyn Law School.

Matt grew up in New York City. He was a certified Starbucks Coffee Master and a frequent speaker on compliance, labor and employment, litigation and law department practice management, and a champion of partner and vendor diversity.

Sign Up

Each month we will send you a newsletter on what's happening at Liminal Space.