María Peña, Digital Reporter, NBCUniversal Telemundo
Nicaraguan-born María Peña has worked as a bilingual journalist in Washington for close to 30 years, covering the growth of the Hispanic community, its progress and challenges.
Throughout her career she has interviewed numerous celebrities as well as local, state, national and world leaders, including President Barack Obama, both as a candidate in 2008 and just prior to his reelection in 2012.
She´s currently the Digital Reporter for Telemundo, where she covers all issues affecting Hispanics, including immigration, trade, education, housing, voting, political empowerment, foreign policy, and, most recently, domestic terrorism at the border.
Ms. Peña has interviewed several top Trump Administration officials, and she recently traveled with DHS Secretary, Kevin McAleenan, to Panama, for an overview of the regional migration crisis.
Prior to her current post, she was the Washington Senior Political Correspondent for La Opinion/Impremedia, also covering ethnic issues. As part of her work, she has chronicled the deployment of the “Minutemen” at the border, the ongoing congressional gridlock on immigration reform, the plight of undocumented workers and, currently, the impact of President Donald Trump´s policies.
In the past, she also worked for EFE, UPI, NBC Canal de Noticias, and Univision.
Over the years, Ms. Peña has been a panelist at prestigious TV talk shows, including Voice of America, Univision’s “Al Punto”, CGTN America, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), CNN´s “Choque de Opiniones”, and Colombian NTN24´s “Club de Prensa”.
She participates in workshops, panels, media roundtables, and briefings organized by congressional committees, universities, NGOs, think tanks, and government entities.
Ms. Peña is currently pursuing a book project on the immigrant experience.
She is an active member of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA), and a former VP for Print of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), and regularly mentors young audiences in academic settings.
Her work has received national recognition from the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP), and in 2017, she was named among El Tiempo Latino´s “100 Influential Latinos” in the nation’s capital.
She holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French from the American University, where she has done some graduate work in human rights and conflict resolution.
Specialties: political analysis, foreign affairs, immigration, ethnic studies. Ranked among high-ranking social media influencers in the Hispanic community.