OUR TEAM

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

Co-founder and Director, SembraMedia

Mijal Iastrebner is a journalist, entrepreneur, teacher and the managing director based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Janine Warner

Co-founder and Executive Director, SembraMedia

Janine Warner is journalist, author, entrepreneur, and a Knight Fellow with the International Center for Journalists.

Content & Operations Team

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

Melanie Pragier

Chief Financial Officer

Melanie supervises SembraMedia's finances and accounting processes. She also reviews the financial statements of sub-grantees in programs such as the Velocidad and SembraMex.

Naimid María Cirelli Asef

Director of Communications

Naimid manages SembraMedia’s communication strategy for events, initiatives, and social media, the email newsletter, and more. She is the creator of the Metis program.

Felicitas Carrique

Director of Innovation

Feli manages product design and technology for SembraMedia and the digital media ecosystem it serves. She empowers innovation through the implementation of new technologies.

Vanina Berghella

Velocidad's Director

Vani manages Velocidad, a SembraMedia’s business accelerator for Latin American Media, which was created in partnership with ICFJ and Luminate. 

María Eugenia Álvarez

Director of strategic initiatives

María Eugenia manages several of SembraMedia’s initiatives, including SembraEducativo. She also manages our diverse team of ambassadors.

SembraMedia's Ambassadors

SembraMedia’s diverse team of ambassadors represent a network of networks that includes more than 800 digital media projects in 20 countries in Latin America, Spain 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.

Elaíne Díaz

Cuban Ambassador

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

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.”

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.

Desirée Esquivel

Ambassador of Paraguay

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

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.

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.

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.

José Antonio González Alba

Spanish Ambassador

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

Miguel Loor

Ambassador of Ecuador

Miguel is a communications consultant and a professor at the College of Communications and Contemporary Arts (COCOA) at the University of San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador.

Sara Trejos

Colombian Ambassador

Sara is a project manager at Magic Markers and the director of Presunto Podcast.

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.

Fabiola Gutierrez

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.

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.

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.

Sebastian 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.

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