María Elena Salinas
Co-anchor, Noticiero Univision & Aquí y Ahora
Master of Ceremonies
Widely recognized as the “voice of Hispanic America,” Salinas is the multi-Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of Univision’s Noticiero Univision (with Jorge Ramos) and Aquí y Ahora. She has been on the front lines of breaking news for more than thirty years, covering elections, insurgencies, and natural disasters around the world. Salinas’ reputation as a serious, objective, and trustworthy journalist has earned her interviews with every US president since Jimmy Carter as well as Latin American heads of state, influential newsmakers, and prominent media personalities. In 2007, Salinas made history by co-hosting both the first ever Democratic and Republican candidate presidential forums in Spanish on the Univision Network.
An iconic presence in Hispanic media with an international following of millions of viewers, Salinas has used her visibility to advocate for and empower the Latino community. She is the official spokesperson for Ya Es Hora, a national civic engagement campaign which has been recognized with a Peabody Award for helping motivate Hispanics to participate in US political dialogue. Her most recent prime-time special, Entre el abandono y el rechazo, explored the dramatic exodus of Central American children to the US and received numerous prestigious journalistic accolades, including a Peabody Award, a Walter Cronkite Award, and a Gracie Award. In 2000, Salinas launched a scholarship in her name to be awarded to a Hispanic journalism student interested in pursuing a career in Spanish-language media. She is one of the founding members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and sits on the board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the International Women’s Media Foundation.
Salinas’ influence reaches beyond television. She is also a radio analyst on Latino issues and one of few Hispanic syndicated columnists in the US, where her column is published in both Spanish and English. In 2006, Salinas published her memoir entitled I Am My Father’s Daughter: Living A Life Without Secrets, which received critical acclaim and made the best-seller lists for Spanish-language books on several occasions.
Salinas began her journalistic career as a reporter for KMEX-34 television in Los Angeles 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 Noticiero Univision in 1987.
Since then her brand of journalism has earned her dozens of awards and recognition from important groups such as the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and the National Organization for Women.
Salinas has been featured as one of the most influential Hispanics in the United States in several publications including Hispanic Magazine, People En Español, and PODER, and was named one of the “Top 15 Most Influential Hispanics” among Latino voters in a poll conducted by Hispanic Voter Trends.
Salinas was born in Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents. She resides in Coral Gables, Florida, with her two daughters, Julia Alexandra and Gabriela María.