As a Program Officer, María helps manage Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) program by ensuring quality assurance of VCS standards and providing technical guidance and support to VCS users and stakeholders.

Prior to joining Verra, María worked for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for 10 years in various roles involving the design of climate change adaptation and mitigation projects including monitoring and evaluation (M&E) environmental and social safeguards (ESS). She was involved in the design of Green Climate Fund projects as well as the implementation and evaluation of projects from the Global Environment Facility and International Finance Institutions focusing on M&E, ESS, and carbon accounting.

In FAO, María was part of multi-disciplinary teams in pre-appraisal and appraisal missions to assist governments in the preparation of investment operations on food security, agriculture, rural development, natural resource management, and agro-processing in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the Middle East and North Africa.

Previously, María worked with the Inter-American Development Bank and supported the Bank’s Disaster Risk Profiles in Paraguay and The Bahamas. She also worked for the Smithsonian Institution’s Bird-Friendly Coffee Program and at Wildlife Conservation Society’s office in La Paz, Bolivia, to monitor conservation areas of the Andean Bear in Bolivia and Peru.
María has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Geography from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and holds a master’s degree in Environmental Management from IE University in Madrid, Spain, where she focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

In her free time, María enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her dog, enjoying nature, and reading.