Matthew VanDyke is an international security analyst, media commentator, public speaker, and founder of Sons of Liberty International, a security firm that provides free military advising and training to communities threatened by terrorism.
VanDyke graduated summa cum laude from UMBC with a degree in Political Science, and later received his master's degree in Security Studies from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He worked in North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia for years as a documentary filmmaker (mostly traveling by motorcycle) and filmed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2011, Matthew VanDyke fought against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in the Libyan Revolution as an American freedom fighter and soldier in the National Liberation Army. He was wounded and captured by Gaddafi's forces and spent nearly 6 months as a prisoner of war in two of Libya's most notorious prisons, before escaping from prison and returning to combat until the end of the war. His experiences are the subject of the documentary film Point and Shoot, which won the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival Best Documentary Award.
In 2012, VanDyke traveled to Syria to make a documentary film about the war, Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution. The film has been shown at hundreds of film festivals and has won over 100 awards.
VanDyke founded the security firm Sons of Liberty International (SOLI) in 2014 after two of his friends, journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, were beheaded by ISIS. SOLI, which operates on a non-profit business model and is supported entirely by contributions from the public through SOLI's website at www.sonsoflibertyinternational.com, is currently providing free military advising and training to Iraqi Christians fighting ISIS.