Maria Nowak is a graduate of the "Institut des Etudes Politiques", Paris (1956) and the London School of Economics (1959).
She has pursued a career in the development field working for the "Agence Française de Développement" (AFD). As a delegate to the World Bank in Washington, in 1991, she participated in the development of micro-lending programmes in Central Europe, while also initiating a similar programme in France through the "Association pour le Droit à l'Initiative Economique" ( ADIE) (Association for the Right to Economic Initiative), an association she founded in 1989 and of which she voluntarily serves as chairwoman today.
Between 2000 and 2002, she was special advisor to Laurent Fabius, Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry. She is also the author of number of Publications and received various Awards.