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Maria Elena Salinas

Peabody award-winning anchor, María Elena Salinas, who is described as the “Voice of Hispanic America” by the New York Times is one of the most recognized and influential journalists in the United States. 

Salinas began her journalistic career in television as a reporter, anchor and public affairs host for KMEX-34 in 1981. Her insightful reporting on the impact of daily news to the increasingly growing Hispanic community in Southern California quickly earned her the credibility that would lead to her assume the anchor chair of the national Spanish language news program, “Noticiero Univision” in 1987.

 In 2016 Salinas was awarded 2 honorary doctorate degrees from American University School of Communications and California State University, Fullerton. She also was honored with the Mickey Leland Humanitarian award.

In 2015 she received a PEABODY Award, Walter Cronkite Award, an Emmy and a Gracie Award for her news and documentary special "Entre el abandono y el rechazo" (Between Abandonment and Rejection), a prime-time report on the exodus of Central American children to the United States, which judges have praised as "balanced and revealing."

Additionally, she is the recipient of the 2014 Broadcast Legend Award from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California. In 2012, she became the first Latina to receive an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Earlier in her career, Salinas was part of the Univision News team that received the Edward R. Murrow Award for the network’s coverage of the Atlanta Olympic Park bombings in 1996.

Focused on her mission to empower the Latino community, for nearly two decades Salinas has worked as a spokesperson with NALEO, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, encouraging immigrants to become citizens, register to vote and participate in the political process. The program has grown to become a Peabody award-winning initiative entitled “Ya Es Hora” (It’s Time).  For these efforts and more, Salinas is a recipient of the coveted Intrepid Award from NOW, the National Organization for Women, and has been honored by organizations including the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, among others.