Maria Mercedes Salmon
Maria Mercedes joined the University of Notre Dame in January 2023 as the Director of the Mexico Global Center. Under her leadership, ND aims to enhance its global exchange and research initiatives, academic leadership and footprint in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and beyond. With more than 20 years of experience in international education and a combination of strengths, including: strategic planning, program development and management; team-building; coaching and mentoring; public relations and communications; counseling adeptness and talent for relationship development, Maria Mercedes enthusiastically takes on the lead in increasing and strengthening strategic opportunities to foster mutual understanding between the United States and countries in the region who share similar values. She continues to prioritize sustainable and accessible international education, through supporting innovative, meaningful, and impactful academic exchanges and research and building and maintaining strategic partnerships.
In her previous role as the Regional Educational Advising Coordinator (REAC) for Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, she and her team of 55 EducationUSA advisers, 19 U.S. embassies and consulates and 50+ host institutions throughout 25 countries, established a consistent environment for higher education internationalization between the United States and an extremely socio-economically diverse sub-region of the Americas.
Prior to assuming REAC responsibilities, Maria Mercedes was the EducationUSA Country Coordinator and Fulbright Foreign Student program officer at the Fulbright Commission in Ecuador for 10 years, and its Acting Executive Director for 18 months between 2007 and 2009.
She holds a Licenciatura en Gestión Empresarial Internacionals from Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil and a Master of Arts in International Affairs from Ohio University, where she attended as a Fulbright grantee.