Meet the 2018-2019 NAHJ DC Chapter Candidates and cast your vote

We are pleased to announce the candidates running for the chapter board! Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations. We have an enthusiastic and diverse group working in a wide range of media outlets in the nation’s capital. All positions, except that of president, have multiple candidates.

Cast your vote by this Friday, August 31st before midnight by emailing NAHJ members in good standing, with dues paid, are eligible to vote. Please select only one candidate for each position:

At-large Officer:


Here are the candidates:


unnamed-13Patricia Guadalupe
Bilingual multimedia journalist

Raised in Puerto Rico, Patricia is a bilingual multimedia journalist based in Washington, D.C., covering the capital for both English and Spanish-language media outlets, including NPR’s Latino USA, NBC Latino and Latino Magazine. Before coming to Washington, she worked in California and New York City. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and has a Master’s from George Washington University.


I am running for President of the DC Chapter of NAHJ because I want to continue to be involved in a very vibrant chapter and help guide it as it continues efforts to expand its scholarship program for interns and greater networking opportunities for members. I am also interested in expanding the membership to include more journalists working in Spanish-language media, including those in DC who work for overseas media as correspondents in the nation’s capital. As a freelancer myself, I would like to reach out more to the freelance committee at the National Press Club and the Society to Protect Journalists, among other groups, to help members in that growing field of the industry, and continue to push for greater diversity in newsrooms in Washington.

AzharAzhar AlFadl Miranda
The Washington Post

Azhar works at The Washington Post, where she helps elevate journalism in the media relations department. Prior to The Post, she worked as a producer in the Al Jazeera English D.C. bureau. She is a graduate of both the George Washington University and Columbia University.



Azhar AlFadl Miranda has served in different NAHJDC leadership roles since 2014, and is proud to be considered for the vice president position. For the last two years, she has organized the Washington, D.C. Journalism Job Fair, which has connected hundreds of diverse candidates with major news organizations, and has landed several people jobs in some of the top newsrooms in the country. She’s especially enjoyed planning workshops that help NAHJDC members strengthen their skills, such as a data journalism workshop taught by members of IRE. As vice president, she hopes to organize more learning opportunities that will help members of different professional levels become more competitive in their field. She would also pursue ways to grow the chapter’s scholarship fund. She’d also like to continue to build on the chapter’s efforts to connect candidates with recruiters and top newsroom management.


Miguel Amaya
Video journalist at BBC

Miguel Amaya was born and raised in Miami, Florida where he attended the University of Miami and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in International Administration. Professionally, Miguel has worked in the public sector for organizations like: the Miami Dade County Health Department, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Department of Transportation. He also attended Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, where his focus was video reporting, newsroom production and multimedia storytelling.

Currently, Miguel is a video journalist at BBC’s Washington, DC Bureau , where he has covered U.S. Politics and the immigration crisis at the US-Mexico border. He will be joining CNN in their Washington, DC bureau in September.


Serving as the President of the Columbia NAHJ Chapter, I was able to bring industry leaders to the table to discuss important issues that concern Latino journalists. Under my leadership, CJ-NAHJ coordinated multiple discussion panels, networking and cultural events, as well as media company visits, in which we highlighted the importance of diversity in the newsroom and the need of opportunity for Latino journalists at all levels of news gathering and storytelling. If elected, I will work alongside the board and chapter members to promote these ideals and ensure that our community is represented and covered accurately.


1780731_10152225509478599_2128776117_nAileen Schlef
Freelance reporter for Hispanic Link News Service and LATINO

Aileen Schlef established Creative Alliance Communications (CAC) following more than 20 years of executive experience in corporate, government, university and community settings. Aileen has also has chronicled Latino life since the 1970s launch of La Luz Magazine, Hispanic, Nuestro, LatinaStyle, among others. She is currently a freelance reporter for Hispanic Link News Service and LATINO. She was a founding member of the pioneering National Latino Media Coalition in the 1970s and headed the Latino Media Task Force of Washington, DC.An active member of the National Press Club (NPC), Aileen was honored with Vivian Awards in 2011 and 2013.


I have been Secretary of the NAHJ DC board for three years, with a focus on building partnerships and special events. These are growth areas that must continue with the new board. The ideas that have kept my interest require beginning with a board meeting dedicated to our own development and working with the new NAHJ board as a team. My own area of focus will be to build on initiatives that we had started and still need to be developed.  We need to build our own online presence and attract established Latino journalists to join and assist with events that can attract new members and resources for scholarships.

OYyYv2EK_400x400Erenia Michell
Journalist, Fox News

Erenia is a booker for America’s Newsroom hosted by Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith from 9am to 12pm on Fox News Channel. Prior to starting at Fox News, she was an assistant editor at WTOP News, an all-news radio station that covers the entire Washington, DC metro area. Before coming to Washington, she was an associate producer at KITV4 News, the ABC News affiliate in Honolulu, Hawai’i. She’s also a writer for DISFunkshion Magazine, founded by fellow Latina Hugette Montesinos. She is a graduate of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, where she received her B.A in Journalism, and was a senior staff reporter for the school newspaper, Ka Leo.


I’m interested in running for the position of secretary to become more involved in our local NAHJ DC chapter. As a new member of NAHJ, I want to help motivate other Latino journalists, like myself, to get involved and get educated on ways we can come together and be a stronger voice in the news industry. It’s vital in our career field to network, and I’d like to open up more opportunities to network for journalists beginning their careers to veteran journalist who also want to stay connected. Not only that, but to create an even bigger sense of community to what has already been established, so that we all feel like we have someone to turn to during this very important time for media and the press.


RFpBRk2u_400x400.jpgCristóbal Vásquez
Washington correspondent, Caracol Radio

 Cristóbal started his career as a Journalist in Bogotá several years after graduating in journalism from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellin, Colombia.  Before doing journalism, he tried luck as a consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, where he managed budgets and execute marketing and communication projects, and he also had a short experience working for Procter and Gamble in Colombia. Then he decided to do a masters in Public Administration at the London School of Economics with the objective of gaining statistical and quantitative tools to do data journalism.   Right after finishing his masters, he interned as a Latin American analyst for the World Policy Journal and then moved to Colombia to start his career as a full-time journalist for El Tiempo. In Bogotá, he wrote about economics and international affairs. Presently he works as the Washington Correspondent for Caracol Radio, and hosts a social media show called #SinNorte, where he tell stories about the United States that resemble the complex reality of Colombia, this to demystify what people believe of the North and the U.S.


My goal in being part of the board of the NAHJ is to add some of the quantitative and financial knowledge I have acquired from past professional and academic experiences. I believe I am a good candidate because I am committed to journalism as a way of living, and I firmly believe that people live through stories, that words mark people, and that as a journalist we write the first drafts of those stories. My participation in the events organized by the chapter in Washington brought me closer to the charming, intelligent and hard working people who make part of the team, inspiring me to get more involved and work together and learn from what talented Hispanic journalists are doing in the United States. Moreover, being part of the NAHJ board gets me closer to the journalists I want to resemble in the near future, as one of my goals is to work for a U.S.  outlet.

UnknownRafael Bernal
Lead writer, The Hill Latino

Rafael Bernal has been the lead writer for The Hill Latino since 2016. He was previously managing editor at United Press International. Rafael has a master’s degree in journalism from Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and an undergraduate degree in law from Universidad Iberoamericana in his hometown of Mexico City.


I want to be on the board of NAHJDC to help the organization advance what I see as its top three priorities: Recruitment, fundraising and opening newsroom doors to Hispanic journalists. I propose that NAHJDC board members meet with newsroom leaders, unaffiliated Hispanic reporters and potential donors at least once a month. Those are simple goals that can make a big difference for the organization. And I propose that funds raised go primarily to fellowships and scholarships that will allow young journalists to break into the DC news world.


JennyBio2 (1)Jennifer Vasquez
Senior Producer, NBC Washington

Jennifer Vasquez is a senior producer for NBC Washington. She manages news coverage from Capitol Hill to the White House for the 11 NBC Owned Stations across the country. As a bilingual journalist, she collaborates with Telemundo on big stories happening the nation’s capital. She’s assisted with the planning and coverage of large events like Pope Francis’ visit to DC, State of the Union addresses, presidential inaugurations, and multiple Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremonies. Vasquez began her career at the BBC News in Washington. She’s a first-generation college graduate and a native Washingtonian. She recently finished grad school at Georgetown University.


I would like to run for office to continue strengthening network relationships between the DC Chapter and Capitol Hill. I’d like to collaborate and be a part of the continued success of a very active chapter. I think that giving back is important and having a seat at the table would allow me to import ideas to help make a difference. The events / activities that NAHJ DC puts together are so important for our fellow Latino/Hispanic journalists in the DMV area.

k5sX5ln7_400x400Pablo Manriquez
Director of communications, Roll Call

Pablo is a comms guy at Roll Call from Chile who was raised in Missouri and lives in DC. He’s worked a variety of jobs in DC but Roll Call is his first newsroom job. Previously in news he was a blogger for Huffpo and Fox News contributor.


My intention for NAHJ DC is to work with the team to throw karaoke dance parties with newsroom people of every stripe (not just members) and get the interns more money for their stipends. Most importantly I just want to be a team player who makes an amazing chapter even better.

benitez-curry-barbara-sqBarbara Benitez
Faculty at Towson University (Lecturer in the Mass Communications Department)

Barbara Benitez is an award-winning journalist with a focus on international news. In 2006, and was one of the original team members to establish and launch the Washington bureau for Al Jazeera International, an award-winning English news channel.  Barbara’s work focused on issues of poverty, inequality and social justice and her work carried her throughout the United States and Latin America. She has led teams in the field from places as farflung as the Miskito Coast of Nicaragua, as well as reported on several stories from “Main Street” America.Barbara has lived in Stockholm, Sweden and the United Kingdom but is orginally Los Angeles where her career began with CNN’s bureau there before she moved on to Atlanta and was an Associate Producer for CNN International.

Barbara Benitez is now a member of faculty at Towson University where she is a lecturer in the Mass Communications Department. Her courses include News writing and Digital Journalism, Introduction to Mass Communications, and Media and Society. In addition, Barbara has just been named a Diversity Faculty Fellow for 2017-2018 where she will develop a course on news writing for a diverse and global audience.


I am interested in running as abn “At-Large Officer” as I would like to become more involved in this important organization. As an educator and researcher, I am well aware of the lack of Latinx represenation within news outlets. This in turn leads to stories that come from the ‘outside in.”  I find it more important than ever to develop young talent and that can help to shift the ‘narrative’ we often see and hear in American news. It is also important that role-models visible. As for NAHJ I like the work they do and would like to do all that I can to take part in planning and idea creation that will continue to raise the profile of this every important organization.





Join the NAHJ DC Board! Call for Chapter Board Nominations

NAHJ DC Chapter Logo

Chapter members,

Thank you for making this past year a successful one for our chapter!

Now is your chance to volunteer and serve on the NAHJ Washington, D.C. Chapter Board. We are taking nominations now until Friday, August 24th.
We are looking for enthusiastic members to run for the NAHJ DC 2018-2019 Chapter Board. Joining the board is an exciting leadership and networking opportunity. Please consider running and let’s continue planning amazing events in our nation’s capitol.
We were the first official NAHJ chapter in 2006 and we have thrived for the past 11 years. Our chapter has planned events and training opportunities all around the city including press briefings at the White House, job fairs, workshops, fundraisers and meetings in the country’s most influential newsrooms.

Here are the Chapter Board positions available:

At-large Officer
Anyone running for an executive position must be a regular NAHJ member, must have paid this year’s dues, and must continue to pay them while serving on the board.
Chapter members will vote the week of August. 27-31st. Each officer will serve from September 3, 2018 until July 31, 2019.
To nominate someone or yourself send an email to with this
following statement:

I ( STATE YOUR NAME), of (EMPLOYER OR FREELANCE) nominate ___________
for (position) __________ in the 2018 election of the NAHJ DC Chapter
Board of Directors. This statement counts as my virtual signature and
I have included my full contact information below.
If you have any questions regarding the election or a board position, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Axios hosts NAHJ DC for summer happy hour and discussion on Aug. 7

Axios welcomed NAHJ DC members on Tues. Aug. 7 for an evening of cocktails, networking and discussion with newsroom leaders at their new headquarters in downtown Clarendon. Mike Allen, founder of the digital media company, spoke to the group about the organization and journalism opportunities. He noted the importance of NAHJ and its role in ensuring the accurate coverage and representation of the Latino community in the media.


Editors and reporters then participated in a Q&A session where they highlighted the growth of Axios and different coverage focuses and strategies.


Axios is a new and fast-growing digital media company that aims to deliver vital, trustworthy news and analysis in the most efficient, illuminating and shareable way possible.


Save the date: Axios hosts NAHJ DC for summer happy hour on Aug. 7th

Axios invites NAHJ DC to a summer happy hour at their headquarters on Tuesday, August 7th from 5:30-7:30 pm for cocktails, networking, and Q&A with the Axios Leaders. 
Please register for the happy hour here: Space is limited. 
Axios is a new and fast-growing digital media company that aims to deliver vital, trustworthy news and analysis in the most efficient, illuminating and shareable way possible.
The offices are located directly across from the Clarendon Metro Stop on the Orange/Silver Line.
If you have any questions please email

NAHJ DC members attend 2018 NAHJ conference and participate in “Latinos covering the White House” plenary

NAHJ DC board members Melissa Macaya, Patricia Guadalupe and Priscilla Alvarez represented the chapter at the 2018 NAHJ Conference held in Miami on July 19-21. They participated in the NAHJ chapter president’s meeting and membership meeting. More than 1,300 people registered for the conference, which included 13 innovative development training tracks and a sold-out Career Fair.


NAHJ DC members participated in a plenary on July 20 about “Latinos covering the White House.” It was an important and timely discussion where panelists shared their experiences and challenges covering the Trump administration.


NAHJ DC President Melissa Macaya introduced the discussion and Telemundo correspondent Lori Montenegro moderated the panel that included participants: Ed O’Keefe (CBS),Boris Sánchez (CNN), Janet Rodríguez (Univisión), María Peña (La Opinión) and Cecilia Vega (ABC News). We thank NAHJ for hosting the chapter for this discussion.


Brandon Benavides, former president of the D.C. chapter, was honored for his leadership as president of NAHJ during the Hall of Fame gala on July 22. He noted that ending his term as president was a “full circle for him” as he started his time in NAHJ during the student projects while in college.


¡Mil gracias! Noche de Periodistas a great success

Chapter members and friends,

Thank you for helping make our 7th annual Noche de Periodistas a great success! The raised funds will go towards our Charlie Ericksen Internship supplement. Every year, we provide four students interning in DC with supplements worth $500, an NAHJ student membership and match them with a journalism mentor.

To everyone who bought a ticket, brought food, and drinks: Thank you! Our chapter fundraiser was a success because of you. We want to thank our special guests Fernando Pizarro and Arelis Hernandez. A big thank you as well to Alberto Avendaño and Armando Trull for hosting us in the penthouse of The Metropolitan.

As mentioned in the event, we are looking for members to join our chapter board. Chapter elections will be helpd in August. Please email us if you are interested or have questions:


NAHJ DC announces Noche de Periodistas special guests: Fernando Pizarro and Arelis R. Hernández

We are happy to announce our 7th annual Noche de Periodistas special guests, two journalists that continue to leave a powerful mark on the local and national level: Fernando Pizarro, Washington Affiliates Correspondent for Univision, and Arelis R. Hernandez, reporter at The Washington Post. 
Fernando’s award-winning work has taken him across D.C., covering national policy issues for the Hispanic community and immigration, including the border crisis of separated immigrant families. Read more about him here:

Arelis covers politics and government in Maryland and also national breaking news. Arelis most recently traveled to Puerto Rico to document the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Her trailblazing coverage has helped shed light on the ongoing crisis on the island. Read more about her here:

Meet our Summer 2018 Charlie Ericksen Journalism Supplement winners: Dani Matias and Jesus Rodriguez

NAHJ DC is pleased to announce our Summer 2018 Charlie Ericksen Journalism Supplement winners  Dani Matias and Jesus Rodriguez. The NAHJ DC board was very impressed with their experience and passion to empower Latino voices through journalism. They will be awarded a supplement worth $500 and be matched with a mentor who works as a journalist in the DC-area.

Dani Matias, intern at WAMU (Washington NPR station)

IMG_1737 (1)Dani Matias is a student at the University of Texas at Austin studying broadcast journalism with a focus in radio and pursuing a minor in Spanish. At UT, she is an active member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association and Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc. During her college career, she has interned for KUT radio station in Austin, The Texas Standard radio magazine and KERA radio station in Dallas. During these internships, she discovered a different passion – reporting on Mexican American-related topics, because it allows her to better connect with her roots and gives her the opportunity to successfully share the stories of Spanish-speaking individuals. She has also been a part of NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project and she served as the podcast technical producer for her campus newspaper, The Daily Texan. This summer she is working for WAMU radio station in Washington, DC as their newsroom intern. Post-graduation, Dani hopes to work for a local NPR station as a reporter covering cultural issues and underrepresented communities, helping to give all voices agency.

Jesus Rodriguez, intern at The Hill 

PJI June 7, 2018, (M. Scott Mahaskey/Politico)Jesus Rodriguez is a senior at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, where majors in international politics and foreign policy. From Orlando, Florida, by way of Venezuela, he has covered how national politics affects Georgetown students at his campus paper, The Hoya, while serving as its managing editor, though his work in the student newsroom now focuses on increasing diversity and representation as director of engagement. Last summer, he wrote on foreign affairs as an editorial intern for the Council on Foreign Relations. This year, Jesus participated in a fellowship program with the International Center for Journalists and was selected as one of 13 participants of the 10-day POLITICO Journalism Institute, where he wrote on U.S.-Mexico border security in the wake of the death of Claudia Gómez González, an unarmed Guatemalan immigrant who was shot in the head by a U.S. Border Patrol agent. This summer, he will be writing at The Hill. A first-generation college student, Jesus is the recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship and speaks four languages. You can follow him on Twitter @jesusrodriguezb.


Join us for our 7th annual “Noche de Periodistas” chapter fundraiser and celebration


Mark your calendars and plan to join us for our 7th annual chapter celebration and fundraiser, Noche de Periodistas on Saturday, June 30th from 4-7pm! This is our biggest chapter fundraiser of the year and helps support our scholarship programs.

Come enjoy delicious fajitas, music, city views and mingle with other DC-area journalists. We will be presenting and honoring our 2018 Summer Charlie Ericksen supplement winners. We will also have an auction.

Armando Trull and Alberto Avendaño will graciously host us for a celebration in the penthouse rooftop party room of The Metropolitan in downtown Bethesda, just steps away from the Bethesda Metro stop on the Red Line. There is also free parking available on-site.

Tickets are $25 if you bring a side dish. The full price is $50.

You can buy tickets here:

POLITICO hosts NAHJ DC for happy hour honoring their Journalism Institute participants on June 5

Kick off the summer with us at our next event! POLITICO invites members of NAHJ-DC for a happy hour next Tues. June 5 to honor participants in their 2018 POLITICO Journalism Institute, an educational initiative with the Maynard Institute and American University to support diversity in Washington-area newsrooms.

Meet the 2018 PJI participants, tour the POLITICO newsroom and network with members of other journalism diversity groups on their terrace overlooking D.C. Space is limited so RSVP early.

Tuesday, June 5, 6:30-8:30


1000 Wilson Blvd., 8th Floor, Arlington VA, 22209