As the Director of Foundation Center – South, Maria is responsible for providing and connecting the South’s diverse social sector with the tools, resources and knowledge it needs to strengthen impact and elevate the reach of philanthropy through strong capacity building within the wide social sector landscape.
Maria brings 20 years of recognized leadership, management and program development, and has worked at every level within diverse social work fields ranging from mental and public health, criminal justice, immigration, entrepreneurship, and school- and community-based work. She brings a deep passion and strong commitment to communities through emphasizing strong and sustainable programming, innovative partnerships and strategic multi-sector collaborations.
Prior to this role, Maria worked at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs as the inaugural Director of Programming and has taught at GSU’s School of Social Work. Maria holds her Bachelors of Social Work degree from Georgia State University and her Masters of Science in Social Work degree from Columbia University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She is very involved in her community in the realms of social and civic engagement and her career-long commitment to inclusive access to knowledge, information and tools stems from her experiences as an immigrant.