Dr. Perez is a licensed clinical social worker and therapist of 30 years. She holds a Master’s and a Doctorate Degree in Social Work from Tulane University in New Orleans. She is a native Spanish speaker and the daughter of parents from Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Prior to joining UNE, Dr. Perez was a system of care director from 2005-2015, leading three Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grants for the state of Maine and the founder of a non-profit, THRIVE a technical assistance center for trauma-informed care. She is a graduate of the Hanley Leadership Development program and was awarded the Maine NASW Agency of the Year award in 2012.

She is the 2022-2023 UNE teaching scholar on justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom. In addition to teaching, she provides technical assistance and consultation to states and communities on the development of trauma-informed systems and provides system of care consultation through federal site monitoring and coaching for SAMHSA. She is a certified cultural competency trainer and presents and provides consultation extensively, both locally and nationally, on Trauma Systems Change, Professional Caregiver Stress and Resiliency, Organizational Healing and Resiliency, Cultural and Linguistic Competency issues, and Leadership Coaching.