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Maria Claudia Norena

Associate Director, Strategy & Innovation
Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center
School of Medicine

Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center
School of Engineering


Contact Information:

UAB | University of Alabama at Birmingham
MT 512F | 1717 11th Avenue South | Birmingham, AL 35294-4410 | USA

Maria Norena is the Associate Director of Strategy and Innovation for two interdisciplinary research centers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Since 2003, she has worked with Mona Fouad, MD, MPH, Professor and Director UAB Division of Preventive Medicine,  in the establishment and strategic development of UAB's Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC). During that period, the Center has received $100 million in competitive grants from the National Institutes of Health. The Center's most recent work focuses on the intersection of health, economic development, the social determinants of health, and the impact of the built environment in community health.

Maria Norena also works with Fouad Fouad, PhD, Professor and Chair, UAB Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering,  in the strategic development of UAB's Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center (SSC). Since its inception, the Center has partnered with national and international universities to promote joint research and training programs on sustainable urban development.

Prior to her current positions, Maria Norena directed the International Strategic Planning and Business Development initiatives for the UAB Health System. Her work included building the International Medical Services Program and establishing a network of academic affiliations with top institutions in Latin America.

Education and training:

Bachelor in Social Communication Sciences - Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.
Diploma in Advanced Marketing - University of California at Berkeley - Executive Training Program.
Fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center for Creative Leadership.
Alumna of the MOMENTUM Women's Leadership Program (2005)

Board Member:

YWCA OF CENTRAL ALABAMA (2013 – present)
BIRMINGHAM BUSINESS ALLIANCE -Chair, Hispanic Business Council (2011 – 2013)

Languages: Spanish and English.

Updated January 2015


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UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center (SSCRC)

1075 Thirteenth Street South
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-4461, USA