Maria Elena Gutierrez is a senior transatlantic fellow of The German Marshall Fund of the United States, as well as the representative of the GMF’s satellite office in Turin, Italy. Maria Elena's areas of expertise include the European Union, Mediterranean region, immigration, and leadership. She has been working for the GMF since 2009.
Born in Jalisco, Mexico and raised in Central California, Maria Elena first studied at the University of California in Santa Cruz where she received her bachelor's with honors in language studies. She then studied at Stanford University, where she received her master's degree in 1990 and her PhD in 1995. Maria Elena taught cinema and Italian literature at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Buffalo, where she became an associate "tenured" professor in 2000.
Throughout her career she has received numerous fellowships and awards, including the Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, the Cesare Pavese award for her doctoral thesis, and the Milton Plesur Award of Excellence for university teaching. Her concentrated area of research in literature is surrealism, a theme about which she has published many articles and a book dedicated to the work of Alberto Savinio.