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As an innovative, action-oriented leader, Dr. Ana Maier is ahead of a myriad of change initiatives within the structure of Zamorano. During her tenure since 2021 as Vice-President and Academic Dean, she has been focused on enhancing the student experience, improving research opportunities, and shifting the curriculum to put emphasis on agricultural food systems in order to better serve Latin America and beyond by preparing students to be ready to contribute to sustainable, resilient and inclusive agrifood systems.

Maier, who is currently serving as Zamorano’s Interim President, is leading the charge for core curricular reform, updating Zamorano’s academic programs to better fit students and the market’s current needs. In addition, she is encouraging faculty to pursue world-class research and to make impactful contributions through meaningful outreach projects.

Core curricular reform

Zamorano launched a program of curricular reform in 2021, the main premise of which was to put sustainable, inclusive and equitable agrifood systems at the center of the Institution’s undergraduate and graduate programs. This process began by defining the competencies that a Zamorano graduate should have, and this in turn helped inform what the new academic offerings should include. A considerable number of stakeholders’ opinions were collected and considered, including Zamorano’s strategic partners, faculty, directors, and the Board of Trustees, all of this in order to identify the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will lead to the definition of the new competencies of a Zamorano graduate.

Maier’s team is working on the curricular design, taking into consideration several relevant aspects such as a competency-based approach, student-centered learning, the incorporation of contemporary trends in higher education, and flexibility to mention a few. Quite an undertaking, all while keeping the 4 main undergraduate programs of study and adding the possibility of choosing interdisciplinary majors and specializations.

Highlighting Research

Under Dr. Maier’s guidance, 2022 bore 45 faculty-produced academic publications, the majority of which included a Zamorano professor as the primary author. Today, almost 50% of Zamorano’s research programs do not receive any type of outside financial support. The main source of financing has been from research and outreach projects executed by Zamorano.

Other initiatives to promote research within the faculty include the reactivation of the Zamorano Academic Press, which incentivizes the faculty’s training in data and is a driver of Zamorano’s Ethics Committee.

Zamorano hand-in-hand with outreach partners

Thanks to exhaustive outreach endeavors, during 2022 Dr. Maier’s team submitted 53 proposals of which 24 projects were approved that same year and nine are set to launch in 2023. The leading department in outreach programming is our Environmental Sciences and Development Department, whose work comprised 60% of the total proposals developed. These projects are carried out with partners includi

Some of the topics covered have been (a) food security, (b) climate resilience, (c) environmental legislation, (d) biodiversity, (e) water resource management, (f) water quality, among others.
About Dr. Ana Maier
Dr. Maier joined Zamorano in 2017 as Associate Dean for Academic Quality and Management.  That office was instrumental in Zamorano continuing to grow its academic offerings with two new master’s degree programs in Agribusiness, one in collaboration with INCAE and one in collaboration with EAFIT. She also oversaw faculty training, the institutional internship program, the Learning-by-Doing modules among other important activities. Additionally, she became part of our faculty as an Associate Professor in the Agribusiness department teaching two courses “Budgets and Costs”, “Business Environment” in our undergraduate program and one course “Teaching methods on Agricultural Education and Evaluation of Agri-food Projects” in our graduate program.
She was named Vice President and Academic Dean in January of 2021 and since that time she has been managing all our academic departments, our student life programs, admissions, and the registrar’s office. Aside from the important activities that were previously mentioned, Dr. Maier has led other initiatives including a proposal for international collaboration opportunities, the redesign and launch of Zamorano´s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the launch of a Digital Information Literacy Lab, and the launch of the Zamorano Distance Education Center (ZEED). (
Before joining Zamorano, Dr. Maier was the Dean of Business and Social Sciences at UNITEC (Universidad Tecnologica Centroamericana) in Honduras. She was also previously a member of the Teaching and Research Faculty of INCAE Business School and has experience working in the private sector in  Honduras as well.
Dr. Ana Maier received her doctorate degree in Curriculum Studies from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana USA. She also holds a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from INCAE Business School and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Business Administration from UNITEC. In addition to being an exemplary academic, Dr. Maier is a dedicated wife and mother to two talented children, a son Sebastian (23) and a daughter Ana Isabel (15).
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