Maria Valenti is an EDC senior research scientist and behavioral health expert. An experienced program leader, she specializes in quantitative and qualitative research, evaluation, policy analysis, and strategic dissemination of epidemiological findings. She has extensive expertise in supporting the use of data to inform decision-making. Her research interests include school/community factors that ensure LGBTQ+ youth thrive.

Valenti is the epidemiology services director for EDC’s Strategic Prevention Technical Assistance Center. She also leads efforts with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to develop a strategic plan for preventing prescription drug misuse.

Prior to joining EDC, Valenti was a research scientist and prevention director for the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports. She has authored articles on LGBT resilience, substance use among transgender and cisgender youth, cannabis use prevention, building evaluation capacity, and strategies to deter substance misuse.

Valenti holds a PhD and an MA in Ecological-Community Psychology from Michigan State University. She attained a BA in Psychology and in Spanish from the State University of New York College at Geneseo.