Maria is an applied microeconomist interested in analyzing the effectiveness of social policies, particularly early childhood programs and interventions, and understanding how those affect children and families' behaviors.

She is currently finishing her PhD in Education Policy and Social Context at the University of California, Irvine (expected June 2024). She received her B.Sc. in Economics from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay, and a Masters in Public Policy and MA in Education from the University of California, Irvine. In her home country, Uruguay, Maria worked as a research assistant in the Department of Economics at Universidad de la Republica, as a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme, and as a policy analyst at the Ministry of Social Development.