About Matrix

Matrix is an open protocol for decentralised, secure communications.

Matrix Manifesto

We believe:


The Matrix.org Foundation exists to act as a neutral custodian for Matrix and to nurture it as efficiently as possible as a single unfragmented standard, for the greater benefit of the whole ecosystem, not benefiting or privileging any single player or subset of players.

For clarity: the Matrix ecosystem is defined as anyone who uses the Matrix protocol. This includes (non-exhaustively):

"Greater benefit" is defined as maximising:

N.B. that we consider success to be the growth of the open federated network rather than closed deployments. For example, if WhatsApp adopted Matrix it wouldn't be a complete win unless they openly federated with the rest of the Matrix network.


As Matrix evolves, it's critical that the Matrix.org Foundation team members remain aligned on the overall philosophy of the project, particularly in more subjective areas. The values we follow are:

Patent encumbered IP is strictly prohibited from being added to the standard.

Making the specification rely on non-standard/unspecified behaviour of other systems or actors (such as SaaS services, even open-sourced, not governed by a standard protocol) shall not be accepted, either.


The evolution of Matrix is managed through an open governance process, looked after by The Matrix.org Foundation - a non-profit UK Community Interest Company, incorporated to act as the neutral guardian of the standard on behalf of the whole Matrix community.

The Foundation defines the manifesto, mission and values of the project, the open governance process that determines how the specification develops, and provides a safety-net to ensure the project stays independent and true to its goals. The constitution of the project is defined in the Foundation's legal Articles of Association and Rules, and is enforced by the Guardians of Matrix: the directors of the Foundation appointed to provide a balance of independent experts and the founding Matrix team to ensure the project stays on track.

The Rules of the Foundation

The Foundation is governed by two sets of documents - its Articles of Association, which define its legal structure and processes, and its Rules, which define the scope and mechanisms of its day-to-day activity.

The Rules were originally drafted through the open Matrix Specification Change proposal process in order to provide full transparency and review from the wider community. The result was MSC1779 - Proposal for Open Governance of Matrix.org, providing a comprehensive overview of the whole governance process.

The Proposal for Open Governance was then formalised into legal form and incorporated into the Articles of Association and a matching Rules document, which is canonically versioned in this Google Doc (for ease of use by lawyers). This is the official canonical version of the rulebook referred to by the Foundation's Articles.

The full history of the rules can be followed via:

One of the most important items defined in the Rules are The Guiding Principles of the project and the definition of the Spec Core Team, which are reproduced here from MSC1779 for ease of reference.

Who We Are

The ecosystem around Matrix is full of people who are enthusiastic about the mission to bring secure, interoperable, decentralised communication to the world. The Matrix.org Foundation, as the nonprofit that serves this ecosystem, is itself made up of many hard working people across several key groups that you can learn about on this page: the staff of the Foundation, the Spec Core Team, and the Guardians.

The Staff of the Foundation

We have a small but mighty team of staffers who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Foundation. Because the organization doesn't yet have the capacity to take on employees directly, all of us are working under contract. We look forward to building the Foundation such that it can take on employees directly, in addition to being self-sustaining and more fully independent.

In the interest of transparency, we think it's important for people to know that most of our staffers are employees of Element, working under a contract with, and funded by, the Foundation. The exception is our Managing Director who contracts directly with the Foundation.

Josh Simmons, Managing Director

Josh is a community organiser, web developer, nonprofit geek, and activist based in Petaluma, California. Best known for his time in leadership at the Open Source Initiative, Josh is also Vice President of Petaluma Pride, author of the Public Health Pledge, and an advisor to Independent Federated Trust & Safety (IFTAS). In the past, Josh has worked in community-facing roles focused on open source at Tidelift, Salesforce, Google, and O’Reilly Media.

Portrait of Josh Simmons

Jim Mackenzie, VP of Trust and Safety

Jim brings a calm optimism to building a safer, kinder Internet. He has worked with the Safety team for Matrix.org since 2021, after joining from 37signals. Jim works on policy and process, tooling and techniques for Matrix.org and Matrix as a whole.

Portrait of Jim Mackenzie

Thibault Martin, Director of Program Development

Thib has as many silent letters in his first name as regular ones. He is a chronic enthusiast who believes software should improve people's lives but doesn't fall for techno-solutionism. Thib connects the Foundation's strategy and delivery by overseeing programmes. He ensures that the programmes stay on track and that they feed the vision of the Foundation in return.

Portrait of Thibault Martin

Travis Ralston, Director of Standards Development

Travis is an avid volunteer, free software developer, Spec Core Team (SCT) member, makerspace director, and collector of strange hobbies. Travis started writing PRs for Matrix in 2016 to support his local makerspace in switching away from IRC, and has continued contributing to Matrix since. Travis’ latest role supports the SCT in operating the Matrix Spec Change (MSC) process, and engages with other standards bodies to advocate for and support Matrix.

Portrait of Travis Ralston

Denise Almeida, Data Protection Officer

Denise is passionate about justice and inclusion, which translates into her work in public policy and compliance. She has been working for Element, and Matrix.org, since early 2020 as their designated DPO and compliance lead. Denise is also in the final stages of her PhD, which focuses on the intersection of privacy, privilege and technology.

Portrait of Denise Almeida

The Spec Core Team

The contents and direction of the Matrix Spec is governed by the Spec Core Team; a set of experts from across the whole Matrix community, representing all aspects of the Matrix ecosystem. The Spec Core Team acts as a subcommittee of the Foundation.

Members of the Spec Core Team pledge to act as a neutral custodian for Matrix on behalf of the whole ecosystem and uphold the Guiding Principles of the project as outlined above. In particular, they agree to drive the adoption of Matrix as a single global federation, an open standard unencumbered from any proprietary IP or software patents, minimising fragmentation (whilst encouraging experimentation), evolving rapidly, and prioritising the long-term success and growth of the overall network over individual commercial concerns.

Spec Core Team members need to have significant proven domain experience/skill and have had clear dedication and commitment to the project and community for >6 months. (In future, once we have subteams a la Rust, folks need to have proven themselves there first).

Members need to demonstrate ability to work constructively with the rest of the team; we want participation in the Spec Core Team to be an efficient, pleasant and productive place, even in the face of inevitable disagreement. We do not want a toxic culture of bullying or competitive infighting. Folks need to be able to compromise; we are not building a culture of folks pushing their personal agendas at the expense of the overall project.

The team should be particularly vigilant against 'trojan horse' additions to the spec - features which only benefit particular players, or are designed to somehow cripple or fragment the open protocol and ecosystem in favour of competitive advantage. Commercial players are of course free to build proprietary implementations, or use custom event types, or even custom API extensions (e.g. more efficient network transports) - but implementations must fall back to interoperating correctly with the rest of the ecosystem.

The current Spec Core Team (and their domain areas) is:

The Guardians

The Guardians are the legal directors of the non-profit Foundation, and are responsible for ensuring that the Foundation (and by extension the Spec Core Team) keeps on mission and neutrally protects the development of Matrix. Guardians are typically independent of the commercial Matrix ecosystem and may even not be members of today's Matrix community, but are deeply aligned with the mission of the project. Guardians are selected to be respected and trusted by the wider community to uphold the guiding principles of the Foundation and keep the other Guardians honest.

In alphabetical order:

Prof. Jon Crowcroft

Jon Crowcroft is the Marconi Professor of Communications Systems in the Computer Lab at the University of Cambridge, and the Turing Institute. Jon is a pioneer in the field of decentralised communication, and a fellow of the Royal Society, the ACM, the British Computer Society, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. (He also supervised Matthew on building a pre-Matrix instant messaging system at Cambridge, and complained that it wasn’t decentralised enough!)

Portrait of Prof. Jon Crowcroft

Matthew Hodgson

Matthew is technical co-founder of Matrix, and CEO/CTO of Element - the company formed in 2017 to let the core Matrix dev team work on Matrix full-time as their day job. He came up with the idea of Matrix with Amandine in 2013 while they were running Amdocs’ Unified Communication unit. He has a degree in Physics & Computer Science from the University of Cambridge.

Portrait of Matthew Hodgson

Amandine Le Pape

Amandine is co-founder of Matrix, and COO of Element. She previously ran the business side of Amdocs’ UC unit with Matthew. She has an engineering degree in Telecoms, Electronics and Computer Science and uses it most to translate the technicalities of Matrix to humans and businesses, and make sure we keep the users at heart when making decisions!

Portrait of Amandine Le Pape

Ross Schulman

Ross Schulman is a senior counsel and senior policy technologist at New America’s Open Technology Institute, where he focuses on internet measurement, emerging technologies, surveillance, and decentralization. Prior to joining OTI, Ross worked for Google. Ross brings a unique perspective as a tech- and decentralisation-savvy lawyer to the Foundation, as well as being one of the first non-developers in the Matrix community to run his own homeserver. Ross has been known to walk around Mozfest clutching a battery-powered Synapse in a box, promoting decentralised communication for all.

Portrait of Ross Schulman