Maria was a grants advisor to Tides Foundation Voter Action fund and is on the board of Campaign for America’s Future/IAF. Maria helped found the Schott Foundation for Public Education in 1991, shaping mission, strategy, board, senior staff and outcomes, most recently as chair of the Strategy Committee. In 1999, Maria founded the Access Strategies Fund. As Chair, with the board and staff, they address the political root causes of social and economic disparities. Access Strategies funds and assists community based organizations in underrepresented, low-income, communities of color and women’s communities to make their voices heard in the creation of sound public policies in Massachusetts. She was born and lived in Puerto Rico as a child, and she spent time in the Sudan as a college student, where her education about the privileges of class, race and gender began. Maria started her education career as a health and biology teacher in a parochial, inner-city high school. She spent the first ten years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic providing counseling to people testing positive for HIV and training AIDS educators. As co-founder and managing partner of the Jobin-Leeds Partnership for Democracy and Education, LLC, Maria with her spouse Greg plans and directs the firm’s research, investments, programs, client services, grants management, strategic alliances, communications and operations. She is leading the Partnership’s formation of a pipeline for progressive women candidates in Massachusetts.