Maria has over five years of experience in the public and private sectors. In 2005, Maria co-founded Corporación Educando, a Colombian NGO that works to promote the development of urban and rural communities by implementing fundamental rights-based education. As co-founder and research director, she is responsible for fundraising strategies, marketing research, and designing and implementing academic programs for community leaders and entrepreneurs in her home city of Bucaramanga. She also leads research efforts in social issues such as innovative education systems, microfinance, and community-based social security systems. Previously, Maria worked for the National Department of Statistics, a Colombian institution that produces statistical information for the economic and social development of Colombia. From 2002-03, she worked in business development for Patia International, where she established marketing strategies, conducted international market research, and developed the company business plan. From 2001-02, Maria was in charge of human resource management for Seguridad Cordova Ltda. Maria earned her M.S. in economics and social protection financing from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands and her MBA from the University of Leicester in the UK. She received her B.A. in business administration from Pontifica Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá.
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