Born in Colombia, Schumacher-Matos was in the U.S. illegally from age 14 until age 21, when he went to court, was allowed to declare his citizenship, and joined the Army to serve in Vietnam. He was educated at Vanderbilt University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, served as a Fulbright Fellow in Japan, and as a Bi-National Commission Fellow in Spain. He also was executive director of the Spanish Institute in New York, a nonprofit dedicated to U.S.-Spanish political, economic and cultural affairs. The Robert F. Kennedy Professor for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, Schumacher-Matos is also a Shorenstein Fellow on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he teaches a graduate seminar on immigration from Latin America into the U.S. and is writing a book on the subject. Schumacher-Matos applies his rich experiences—immigrant, soldier, reporter, editor, publisher, author, ombudsman, professor, academic fellow—to his weekly, syndicated column on national and international affairs. His work has appeared in the influential journal Foreign Affairs, and he has published numerous op-ed articles, which, he says, express "the value of human dignity over self-righteousness and realism over wishful thinking." His talk was the keynote address of Susquehanna University's 16th annual Latino Symposium.
Schumacher-Matos, Edward, "Edward Schumacher-Matos Lecture" (2011). Arlin Adams Center Events. 7.