Maida is the founder of Genuine Article Pictures, a philanthropic fund that supports creatively ambitious documentary filmmaking. The feature documentary she produced, “PAHOKEE,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019. Films she executive produced include Sam Green’s live documentary, “A Thousand Thoughts” (Sundance 2017), “The Hottest August” (True/False Film Fest 2019), and “Truth or Consequences” (International Film Festival Rotterdam 2020).
Prior to her work in film, Maida enjoyed a 15-year career in education. After earning a Master in education with an emphasis in teaching from Mills College, she taught eighth-grade English to bilingual students at Colegio Americano de Quito in Ecuador. At the conclusion of the two-year contract, Maida returned to her hometown of San Francisco and taught high school English at several schools—including her alma mater, Lick-Wilmerding High School, where she first dreamed of becoming a teacher. In addition to her classroom experience, Maida served for 10 years on the board of directors of First Graduate, a nonprofit working to close the opportunity gap for first-generation college-bound students in the San Francisco Unified School District. In 2008, after volunteering for the Obama campaign in Colorado, Maida joined the staff of the Stupski Foundation, where she worked to implement the Foundation’s initiatives in public K–12 districts across the United States until the Foundation closed in 2012.
Maida began her career in technology working in the early days of the internet industry, first at WIRED and then at CNET. After five years in tech, she returned to her first passion—education—to embark on a career in teaching.
Maida is actively involved in the strategic philanthropic community and efforts to protect and support democracy. She has been a member of The Philanthropy Workshop since 2004. In 2020, she took the One for Democracy Pledge and joined the Democracy Funders Network.
Maida was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and moved to Mill Valley, California, at age 6. Other than the two years she spent teaching in Ecuador, she has lived in California ever since. Maida received a Bachelor of Arts in English and comparative literary studies from Occidental College. She proudly serves on the board of the Roxie Theater in San Francisco.