Maria works on the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's Andes-Amazon Initiative, where she is in charge of the management and implementation of the portfolio of grants in the Andean Region. She is an environmental anthropologist with over two decades of experience as a researcher and practitioner at the intersection of environmental conservation, sustainable development and human well-being.
Prior to joining the foundation, Maria worked as a scientist at Earth Innovation Institute (EII) where she led multi-stakeholder processes to set standards of engagement for indigenous peoples and local communities in subnational forest conservation and climate change mitigation policies across the tropics. She has also worked as a researcher with Stanford University’s Social Ecology Lab, where she explored human-environment interactions, and as a consultant to organizations such as the Nature Conservancy.
Maria has lived and worked throughout Latin America, serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Paraguay, conducting field research in the Brazilian Amazon and the Maya Forest of Mexico, and collaborating across civil society groups, indigenous peoples’ organizations and governments. She is passionate about contributing to a healthy and just planet.
Maria DiGiano holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in interdisciplinary ecology with a concentration in anthropology from the University of Florida. She also has a B.A. in history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.