Mary Joe Matalin (born August 19, 1953) is an American political consultant well-known for her work with the Republican Party. She has served under President Ronald Reagan, was campaign director for George H.W. Bush, was an assistant to President George W. Bush, and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney until 2003. Matalin has been chief editor of Threshold Editions, a conservative publishing imprint at Simon & Schuster, since March 2005. She is married to Democratic political consultant James Carville. She appears in the award-winning documentary film Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story and also played herself, opposite her husband, James Carville, John Slattery, and Mary McCormack in the short lived HBO series K Street.
Matalin grew up in the Chicago suburb of Calumet City, Illinois, the daughter of Eileen (née Emerson), who ran beauty salons, and Steven Matalin, a steel mill worker. Her paternal grandparents were Croatian immigrants and her mother was of Irish descent. Matalin attended Thornton Fractional North High School and attended Western Illinois University for college and Hofstra University School of Law, where she was enrolled for one year before dropping out.