Mara Tissera Luna (SPP MPA ’17)

April 6, 2018

Mara is a socio-cultural anthropologist and MPA graduate specializing in children’s rights. She has worked for nearly a decade conducting advocacy, academic and policy-oriented research on children’s rights protection in several countries including Argentina, Mexico, the US and Kazakhstan, among others.

Currently the Information and International cooperation Officer for the NGO Red Latinoamericana de Acogimiento Familiar (RELAF), Mara has also worked with the European Commission, regarding Political Reporting and Analysis, and with UNICEF for youth suicide prevention, among others. She lives in Budapest.

What’s one thing people should know about you?

I’m committed to making the world a more socially just and fairer place for everyone.

You recently gave a TEDx talk at CEU. What was it about?

How to provide loving and caring families for children currently living in care institutions, also known as “orphanages.” 

How would you define the work you do?

We’re trying to make governments comply with their children’s rights international commitments, to realize the right of every child to live in a family and community.

What’s the most rewarding or important thing about that work?

To see that my work positively impacts the lives of children, to see them transition from orphanages to families, and to see they’re happier as a result.

Did CEU help prepare you for the work you do?
Yes. The practice-oriented approach of the SPP MPA program helped me, giving me useful tools I will be able to use now that I’ve resumed my work.

What do you miss most about CEU?
I value and miss my friends and the multicultural nature of CEU, both faculty and student body. I know that I won’t be able to handle not being in such a multicultural setting again.

What do you feel is CEU’s relevance in today’s world?

When CEU was first founded it was for students from the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe. Then it internationalized. I still think it has huge relevance for CEU to remain in a former socialist, central European country. It’s an institution that defends liberal values and socially just societies, and therefore it has a special role here.