Maritza Colón-Fermín runs the daily operations of the Institute and its affiliated centers and programs.  Maritza is the chief budget and human resources officer. She also oversees the ILAS Advisory Board and all fundraising activities.

Maritza received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from New York University, both with specializations in Latin American history. Prior to ILAS, she was the Department Administrator at the Department of History at Columbia University and also held the same position at the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures. From 2000-2008 she was the Assistant Director at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU where she played an important role in developing their Quechua language program. She has been successful in obtaining U.S. Department of Education Title VI grants at NYU and more recently at Columbia.