Maria Şandor has more than 20 years of experience in public policies management in international institutions active in Romania: The World Bank, PNUD; USAID. In 1994 she intiated the first Romanian programme for entrepreneurial education for women, and for 4 years she managed the programme “Women’s Participation in Development”, and, afterwards, the environment office of the United Nations for Development programme. In 1998, she created, together with the World Bank team, the Romanian Fund for Social Development, the first independent financial mechanism with the purpose of diminishing poverty and supporting community development. Until 2007 she coordinated, on behalf of the US Agency for International Development, a programme for legislative reform for improving the business environment.
Driven by the desire to create change and take action, Maria managed, the Foundation for the Development of the Civil Society for a couple of years, took part in the development of research and public policies centers (The Center for Political Studies and Comparative Analysis; Partners for Change; Leading Romanian Business Women; Green Cross Romania) and has been ever since a member of various NGOs’ advisory boards.