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

Janine Warner

Cofounder 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.

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

In charge of SembraMedia´s finances, administrative processes and accounting policies. Melanie also supervises financial statements of sub-grantees in programs such as Velocidad.

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.

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. 

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.

Soledad Zavala

Coordinator of Institutional Development

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

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.

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.

SembraMedia's Ambassadors

SembraMedia’s diverse team of ambassadors represent a network of networks that includes more than thousand 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.

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.

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.

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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