Maria is a social anthropologist who combines a strong academic background with eight years of experience in high-quality policy research and advisory work on issues of gender, poverty, exclusion and social protection. Prior to joining ODI, she worked for a wide range of international development organisations, governments, NGOs and private donors.
Maria’s research focuses on gender and adolescence as part of the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) programme. She holds an MSc in Medical Anthropology from the University of Oxford and a second MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. Maria started as an intern for UNHCR working first with asylum seekers in Greece and later with refugees in Zambia. Before joining ODI, she carried out policy research and advisory work as an independent consultant for a range of international development organisations including UN agencies (FAO, UNGEI, UN Women), government departments (DFAT, DFID, Indian Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation), NGOs (International Alert, Plan International), private donors (Hewlett Foundation) and research bodies (ReBUILD Consortium). Her main research interests include gender, youth, poverty, vulnerability and social protection and she has produced various research outputs from thematic reports and country evidence gap maps to literature reviews and journal papers. She is passionate about people-centred approaches in research and more socially, just development outcomes.