In 2008, she helped the implementation of community banks in São Paulo, which are microfinance institutions run by grassroots organizations in order to improve local development. In 2010, Mara studied political science at the University of Santiago the Compostela in Spain for one semester, and when she returned to Brazil she joined the Institute for the Development of Social Investment (IDIS) as an intern supporting formulation of fundraising strategies and trainings for nonprofits. In AIESEC in Brazil, she was part of the national executive board supporting program development and managing national partnerships, while in Egypt she joined Youth Initiatives Team at UN Women focusing in supporting university student’s engagement. Her last assignment was as an Edge Growth Business Associate working for one of the top incubation center’s in India, CIIE (Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship, which fosters innovation-driven entrepreneurship. There she was a member of the ecosystem development team and has helped organize the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) India and developed knowledge management processes for the organization. As an engaged activist and through many volunteer and work experiences, she developed strong project management skills, which she hopes to use to improve women’s rights, youth empowerment and fight poverty in global scale.

Host Organization: Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP)

Role at Host Organization: Mara will work at the heart of the initiatives, programs, and activities most critical to YPFP’s success – fostering the next generation of foreign policy leaders by providing young professionals with the knowledge, skills, exposure, and relationships they need to tackle critical global challenges over the course of their careers.