Founders & Directors

SembraMedia’s co-founders work closely with the board of directors to manage the organization’s diverse team. In addition to leading research, training, and initiatives, they have worked hard to build international alliances and a broad base of support that serves digital media throughout Latin America, the U.S., and Spain.

Mijal Iastrebner

Cofounder and Executive Director, SembraMedia

Mijal Iastrebner is the cofounder and executive director of SembraMedia. She also is a journalist, entrepreneur and teacher.

Janine Warner

Cofounder and Executive Director, SembraMedia

Janine Warner is the cofounder and executive director of SembraMedia. She also is journalist, author, and entrepreneur.

Content & Operations Team

The operational team is responsible for SembraMedia’s general operations, which includes developing and implementing our many initiatives.

María Eugenia Álvarez

General Manager

Maru is in charge of SembraMedia's general strategy. She works with SembraMedia’s management and their teams, optimizing processes and communication among SembraMedia’s various areas and initiatives.

Melanie Pragier

Chief Financial Officer

Melanie works with SembraMedia’s directors to manage all of the organization's financial, administrative, and accounting practices.

Naimid María Cirelli Asef

Director of Communications

Naimid is the lead for SembraMedia’s internal and external communications. He coordinates SembraMedia’s communities by working with the organization’s ambassadors and communications team.

Daniela Fernández

Director of Innovation

Daniela is in charge of product and system design to further the growth of both SembraMedia and the wider digital media ecosystem.

Paulo Javier Baldessari

Organizational Development

Paulo consults with SembraMedia in human resources and organizational development. He also provides training for media organizations that participate in SembraMedia’s accelerator programs.

Florencia Aza

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Flor leads programming initiatives for SembraMedia at a regional level. Her focus areas include the coordination and organization of the GNI Startups Lab Hispanoamérica and SembraMex media accelerator

Sofía Álvarez Barbeito

Education Director

Sofia is the coordinator for SembraMedia's Virtual Entrepreneurial Journalism School. She also manages SembraMedia initiatives focused on education.

Madalina Ciobanu

Project Oasis Research Director, Europe

Madalina is the lead for SembraMedia’s Project Oasis, a searchable directory and research study analyzing the sustainability of independent digital native media organizations in Europe.

Soledad Zavala

Coordinator of Institutional Development

Soledad coordinates SembraMedia's institutional development, overseeing the monitoring and evaluation of the organization's initiatives.

Ana Minini Venega

Communications Coordinator

Ana coordinates both external and internal communications for SembraMedia. She carries out operational tasks related to publishing and sharing information about SembraMedia’s initiatives.

Magalí is in charge of reviewing, maintaining and optimizing SembraMedia’s databases. She analyzes and supports the organization's research and digital media directories.

Daniela Ruiz Blanco

Project Manager

Daniela is part of SembraMedia’s education department. She manages education and training initiatives, working to coordinate these projects with different areas of SembraMedia.

Micaela Fernández

Operations Management Lead

Micaela is in charge of creating and managing SembraMedia's budgets, as well as analyzing the financial reports for SembraMedia’s different programs.

Miguel Loor

Ambassadors coordinator

Miguel coordinates the work of the team of ambassadors in their communities.

Micaela Rajchel

Secretary to Executive Management

Micaela provides support in agenda management, document management and optimization of the operational side of SembraMedia.

Carolina Sotelo

Community Manager

Carol manages SembraMedia's social media, adapting the organization’s content for social networks and fostering conversation with SembraMedia virtual communities. She supports the communications team.

Rocío Caro Pacello

Digital Support

Rocío provides support to the Innovation area. She contributes to keeping the digital resources that the organization offers to media entrepreneurs in the region up to date.

Martina Deutsch

Administrative Assistant

Martina works in the administrative area of SembraMedia, managing tasks such as supplier, service and office contracting. She also supports SembreaMedia’s finance department.

Elena Ledda

Project Oasis Research Manager, Southern Europe

Elena is the regional research manager for Project Oasis in Southern Europe. She coordinates a group of 13 researchers contributing to the European SembraMedia directory and related study.

Sanne Breimer

Project Oasis Research Manager, Northern Europe

Sanne is the regional research manager for Project Oasis in Northern Europe. She coordinates a group of 15 researchers contributing to the European SembraMedia directory and related study.

Lela Vujanic

Project Oasis Research Manager, Central and Eastern Europe

Lela is the regional research manager for Project Oasis in Central and Eastern Europe. She coordinates a group of 15 researchers contributing to the European SembraMedia directory and related study.

Vanesa Knoop

Administrative Assistant, Project Oasis

Vanesa supports and assists the Project Oasis management team with tasks and processes such as hiring, payments, and the monitoring of budgets and timelines.

SembraMedia's Ambassadors

SembraMedia’s diverse team of ambassadors represents a network of networks that includes more than a thousand digital media projects in 24 countries in Latin America, Spain, Canada and the United States. They are involved in an ongoing research project that involves mapping and studying the ever-changing independent digital media ecosystem. They are also responsible for creating and managing our comprehensive digital media directory. Their research, and the communities they have created together, form the foundation of all of our training programs and initiatives. In addition to working as consultants for SembraMedia, our ambassadors are journalists, professors, and entrepreneurs.

Olivia Sohr

Argentine ambassador

Olivia is a sociologist and journalist. She is the Editorial Coordinator at Chequeado, one of the leading fact-checking sites in Latin America.

Fabiola Gutiérrez

Bolivian Ambassador

Fabiola has a Master’s degree in journalism and communication from the University Evangélica Boliviana. She is also a contributor to two experimental digital journalism projects.

Paulette Desormeaux

Chilean Ambassador

Paulette is a journalist with a Master’s degree in Media and Globalization. She is the founder and president of Red de Periodistas, the first investigative journalism network in Chile.

Sara Trejos

Colombian Ambassador

Sara is the director and founder of Sillón Estudios, the podcast production company behind “Presunto Podcast”, “Expertos de Sillón” and the Latin American podcasting festival Podcastinación.

Elaine Díaz

Cuban Ambassador

Elaine is the founder and director of Periodismo de Barrio, a nonprofit news site that covers environmental issues in Cuba.

Laura Aguirre

Ambassador for El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala

Laura is a sociologist, journalist, and feminist who is also the director of Alharaca, a digital, independent media organization. She earned a PhD in sociology from the Free University of Berlin.

Ana María López

Ambassador for Ecuador

Ana María is a journalist with experience in political analysis, research, data verification, and fact-checking. She is also interested in digital communication.

José Antonio González Alba

Spanish Ambassador

José Antonio has a Master’s degree in Management and Innovation from the University of Cádiz.

Natalie Van Hoozer

US Ambassador

Natalie Van Hoozer is a bilingual journalist and translator in Reno, Nevada. She works for KUNR Public Radio, Northern Nevada’s NPR member station, and Noticiero Móvil.

Abraham Torres

Ambassador of Mexico

Abraham is a professor of Digital Journalism at the International School of Communication and Entertainment of the University Anáhuac in Cancún, Mexico.

María Lilly Delgado

Ambassador of Nicaragua

María Lilly Delgado is a correspondent for Univisión News based in Nicaragua, where she reports about politics and human rights.

Desirée Esquivel

Ambassador of Paraguay

Desirée is a journalist, photographer, and the co-founder of Ciencia del Sur.

Alejandra Garboza

Ambassador of Peru

Alejandra is a journalist with a master's degree in agency journalism from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and Agencia EFE.

José Hernández Falcón

Ambassador of Puerto Rico

José is a journalist, blogger and director of Puerto Rico BloggerCon, a convention that brings together digital content creators from throughout the Island.

Indhira Suero

Ambassador of the Dominican Republic

Indhira is a professor at the Instituto Tecnológico in Santo Domingo, D.R. She is an experienced cultural journalist and broadcaster, and a Fulbright Scholar.

Sebastián Auyanet

Ambassador of uruguay

In addition to serving as SembraMedia’s ambassador in Uruguay, Sebastian Auyanet is a strategic media consultant for SembraMedia’s Velocidad Accelerator and SembraMex sustainability program.

Nilsa Varela Vargas

Ambassador of Venezuela

She says she founded "Diario el Vistazo" after taking Janine Warner’s online entrepreneurial journalism course at the Knight Center, where she was inspired by Janine’s message to “just do it.”




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