Maria Sophia Aguirre, PhD

About Maria Sophia Aguirre, PhD

Formerly a tenured Professor of Economics at The Catholic University of America, Dr. Aguirre has 30 years of teaching and research experience, while holding leadership positions at the academic program level, department and school levels, as well as the university at large. She established two successful master’s degree programs in the Department of Economics, served as Academic Chair and Director of Economic Programs, and from 2018 to 2023 served as Undergraduate Director of the Department of Economics. She was a Fulbright scholar in 2012–2013.

After completing Accounting and Business Administration degrees in Argentina, Dr. Aguirre worked in accounting and commodities trading in Chicago for several years before earning an M.A. and then a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame with concentrations in monetary and fiscal policies and international financial markets. She has represented countries, including the Holy See, in international organizations, and served the U.S. President and Secretary of State as a presidential appointee confirmed by Congress in the capacity of Commissioner and Adviser for two presidential terms. Dr. Aguirre has testified before Congress in the U.S. and in several other countries, and has lectured and published extensively both domestically and internationally.

Since leaving government, Dr. Aguirre has worked to develop and implement Integral Economic Development (IED), an interdisciplinary approach to economic analysis that recognizes the role of social relationships—first manifested by the family—as key drivers of economic activity. Dr. Aguirre’s research has led to successful collaboration with a variety of business leaders, academicians, technologists, and policy makers on six continents, improving the lives of millions of people in the developing world. Just before assuming the role of President at Catholic International, she was on leave at the University of St. Thomas in Houston conducting research on the application of IED to artificial intelligence and virtual reality.