Maria P. Luna
Director of APSI Education Center
Maria P. Luna M.A., is a Colombian psychologist from the University of the Andes in Colombia and holds a Master's Degree in Public Health with emphasis in prevention from the University of Deusto in Spain. During her previous job managing the Prevention programming of the Inter American Drug Abuse Control Commission at the Organization of American States, Ms. Luna worked closely with Latin American and Caribbean governments, civil society entities, academia and other international organizations around the world. Her 17 years of public policy in the region brought a deep understanding of the substance use problem in the Americas, and helped her identify innovative political and technical approaches to address it. She has coordinated the development, publication and implementation of prevention guidelines for the development, promotion and enhancement of policies and practices in different settings and targeted needs. She also coordinated the implementation and evaluation of several prevention programs in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the development and delivery of Training Curricula for the Prevention workforce. For over a for a decade, Maria served as Senior Advisor of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission Demand Reduction Expert Group and its adjacent Task Force groups, liaising with the Chair and setting the priorities of action for region. This position allowed her to expand and strengthen her work experience, knowledge, and network through the collaboration with other international organizations, such as UNODC, EMCDDA, CCSA (Canada), PAHO/WHO, civil society and academia.
When joining APSI as Director of Professional Development in 2014, Ms. Luna led the training side of the Universal Prevention Curriculum with special efforts on preparing training of trainers programming for APSI around the world which led to the development and creation of the Applied Prevention Science International Education Center (APSI-EC). The goals of the Center include not only making prevention science and evidence based prevention more accessible to prevention professionals, but also providing the tools to making evidence-based prevention. After coordinating the development and launching of this initiative, she is currently the Director of the APSI EC. In this position, she also sits in the European Universal Prevention Curriculum Advisory Board.
Ms. Luna is fully committed to guaranteeing that quality prevention content is delivered and disseminated with the highest quality procedures to appropriately professionalize the prevention field and allow prevention professionals to implement evidence-based interventions in favor of communities around the world.