María José Morales Rivas got her Bachelor's degree in Law from the University Dr. José Matías Delgado, El Salvador in 2006. Afterwards she received an associated degree on Children's Rights at the University Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas.
During her law studies, she worked as an intern at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working as policy analyst and attending the Central America Customs Union. In addition, she worked for one year as an assistant to the General Coordinator of the ODASP, an organization that supports the private sector in international trade negotiations; coordinating consultation meetings with the private sector for the negotiations of the free trade agreements with Colombia, Taiwan and the European Union, and the renegotiation of the free trade agreement with México and Panamá. During this period, she was a member of the committees of Intellectual property, normalization, labor and environment for the National Commission for the Management of Trade Agreements (CONATCO). She collaborated in the coordination of the consulting meetings of the Trade of Service of the WTO, and with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
She also volunteered at the legal department of the United Nation Children's Fund, UNICEF, in El Salvador, where she participated in the implementation of a project to offer free legal consultation to relatives of children with HIV at a children's hospital, teaching staff at children's homes about children's rights, and participating in the implementation of the national Children's and Teenagers law.
More recently, she worked for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of El Salvador as a policy analyst, performing the legal analysis of policies and strategies to be implemented by the Ministry. She also represented the agricultural sector in Free Trade Agreement Negotiations in matters of Intellectual Property and rules of Origin.
Apart from Spanish, her native language, María José is fluent in English, French, with working knowledge of German, and basic Mandarin.
She is also member of Rotary International as a Rotaractor.