Maria Romano de León is the chief curator at the San Diego Automotive Museum with experience in many aspects of museum/nonprofit work, including data systems, development, curatorial practice/exhibits, publications, writing, editing, member services, museum education, and higher education. Before moving back to San Diego, she curated at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and worked at several other nonprofits. She has also created and taught college-level art history courses. Maria has a BA in Art History, Theory & Criticism from UCSD, spending one year studying in Rome and at the Università degli Studi di Padova, and an MA in Arts and Heritage Policy, Management & Education from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, where she wrote her thesis in and about Istanbul, Türkiye. Her parents are of Italian descent and she was raised in San Diego’s Sicilian-American community.