Born in Argentina. Maria Basilico graduated as a translator from the University of Buenos Aires and lived in the United States and Canada for six years. When she returned to Argentina, Maria worked as a translator and in the Human Resources department of a legal firm. She completed postgraduate studies on Civil Society and Non-Profit Organizations, leading to a job as Executive Director of Fundación Neuquén, an Argentinean NGO devoted to private conservation initiatives. The only conservation easement in Argentina was created by the Fundación with the assistance of The Nature Conservancy. While working at the Fundación, Maria was instrumental in raising funds for the management of the Provincial Reserve, where the easement is located. Since she was working under the supervision of The Nature Conservancy, she became interested in international environmental issues and international relations. She earned a master’s degree from FLACSO University in Argentina and has almost completed a masters degree in European Studies from Leiden University. She is primarily interested in the way the Central and Eastern Countries of the EU have been integrated into the EU and the process by which these countries that had been under communist regimes for years have developed market-oriented economies.