Originally from Ecuador, Maria is a behavioral scientist with 18 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. Through her current work at USAID she works on the High Impact Practices (HIPs) in Family Planning (FP) and is the USAID lead technical advisor to the Research for Scalable Solutions (R4S) project, which focuses on FP implementation sciences research. Additionally, she works closely with the Uganda FP team, in her role as Uganda FP liaison. 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 has been teaching a graduate course focusing on Latino Health in the United States for the past three years. 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. 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.