Prior to coming to Brussels to Head the NSF’s Europe and Eurasia Office, Sonia was a Program Director for East Asia and Pacific countries at the NSF’s Office of International Science and Engineering. She was an Embassy Science Fellow at the US Embassy in Malaysia, served as NSF representative in the Antarctic, worked as Director of Education and International Programs at the University of New Mexico and worked as Research Associate at Duke University before joining the NSF in 1989. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of South Carolina and a Masters in Zoology from Duke University. She conducted research in tropical marine biology especially in Latin American countries. She is a founding member of the Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences.