“I believe that stories drive empathy and the counter-narratives that InterAction amplifies are crucial building systems that allow individuals to realize their full potential.”

Maria is the co-founder of INVANTI, an impact-focused startup generator that activates talented people to discover and pursue new venture opportunities at the intersection of important problems and big markets. Previously, Maria was the Operations and Research Coordinator for the international non-profit organization Bridges to Prosperity, which creates access to healthcare, education and markets by working with isolated communities to build footbridges over impassable rivers. She also served on the Board of Directors for the organization. Maria has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, where her researched focused on developing a human-centered approach to wind mitigation of long span footbridges. A thread that runs through Maria’s seemingly disjointed educational and professional background is a passion for eliminating barriers that prevent people from achieving their potential.