Originally from Ecuador, Maria is a behavioral scientist with 15 years of experience designing, implementing, and managing capacity building and public health programs. Maria has experience providing technical assistance to and managing large public health projects in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and has been a behavioral sciences consultant for the World Bank, UNFPA, and Pact. She has lived and worked in Ecuador, Peru, Malawi, and Mozambique. In her current role at USAID, she works on the High Impact Practices (HIPs) in Family Planning (FP) and the Research for Scalable Solutions (R4S) project, which focuses on FP implementation sciences research. Maria also serves as the USAID Global Health point of contact for the 2021 USAID mini-university and is an Associate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she teaches a graduate course focusing on Latino Health in the United States. In her previous role at USAID's Office of HIV/AIDS, Maria used her behavioral sciences expertise to enhance voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) service uptake in various countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and strengthen HIV prevention services in Malawi. She has authored numerous peer reviewed publications focusing on behavioral sciences insights to strengthen public health programs. In 2020 she was among a group of behavioral sciences experts invited to join the WHO Technical Advisory Group on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health. Maria received her BS in Economics from Truman State University, her Master of Public Policy from Duke University and her Master of Public Health (MPH) and PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.