Alex Nogales | President & CEO
Elected President of the NHMC in the late nineties, Alex has tirelessly advocated for the Latino community. He led boycotts against the advertisers of the syndicated “Howard Stern” radio show as a means of getting Stern off the air when he offended the Latino community and the family of the late singing star, Selena Quintanilla-Perez, with his repugnant comments following the singer’s tragic murder. Under Nogales’ leadership, the NHMC has filed over fifty petitions to deny broadcast licenses with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), including one against a Spanish-language radio company for encouraging its DJs to air pornographic radio programming to boost their ratings. Nogales also led high-profile demonstrations against ABC and its parent company, Disney, for its lack of diversity and apparent exclusion of American Latinos from local news reporters and anchor jobs, and intensified discussions with local TV stations across the country. As leader of one of the more visible organizations under the umbrella of the National Latino Media Council (NLMC), for which NHMC acts as secretariat and staff, Alex was instrumental in the signing of Memoranda of Understanding with NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox in the year 2000.
And when Latinos in both English and Spanish language television were undercounted by the A.C. Nielsen Research Company, Mr. Nogales led the NLMC fight to force Nielsen to address this shortfall. In his estimation, Nielsen’s undercount limited Latino employment opportunities in English-language television as well as discouraged the development of Latino-themed programming. Fox Television, Nogales’ ally in the fight, recently signed an agreement with Nielsen whereby Nielsen committed fifty million dollars to better train its field representatives to coach Nielsen households on how to correctly use their measuring equipment.
Currently, Nogales is evaluating the diversity performance of the four major television networks, pushing for diversity initiatives, and challenging media entities that are demonizing the Latino immigrant community to boost their radio and television ratings. Indeed, in the past few years the NHMC has emerged as a leader in the fight against hate speech in media. On the heels of the 2006 immigration debate – and the often violent and inaccurate anti-Latino rhetoric associated therewith – the FBI documented a 40% increase in hate crimes against Latinos. Not only has the NHMC called on the government to examine the link between hate speech and hate crimes and to bring light to this serious problem, it has also commissioned the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center to study the issue in the absence of government action. At the same time, Mr. Nogales has met with top cable and broadcast television executives, urging them to ensure fairness and accuracy in their stories that touch on the Latino community. In one such meeting, in late 2009, Alex met with CNN President Jon Klein and urged him to hold Lou Dobbs accountable as a credible journalist or to fire him. Not a week later, Dobbs resigned from CNN.
In addition to the NHMC’s work on hate speech, under Alex’s leadership the organization has increasingly engaged on media and telecommunications policies that impact the Latino community. NHMC has an office in Washington, D.C., and serves as the voice of the Latino community on such issues as diversifying media ownership, broadband deployment and adoption, network neutrality, and many other issues that affect how Latinos communicate and are perceived in mainstream media.
Jessica J. Gonzalez | Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Jessica oversees all NHMC operations from headquarters in Pasadena, California. In her former role, Jessica ran NHMC’s Washington, D.C. office, executed NHMC’s priorities before the federal agencies and in Congress and led NHMC’s legal and policy work. She also developed NHMC’s legal fellowship program. Jessica has testified before the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and has been interviewed on television and radio. Additionally, she played an instrumental role in drafting the historic Memorandum of Understanding between Comcast Corporation and leading national Latino leadership organizations. Before joining NHMC, Jessica was a staff attorney and clinical teaching fellow at Georgetown Law’s renowned Institute for Public Representation (IPR). At IPR Jessica represented NHMC and other consumer, civil rights and public interest organizations before the FCC, the NTIA and in the Courts of Appeal. While in law school, Jessica clerked at the Media Access Project in Washington, DC, and prior to law school she was a public high school teacher in Los Angeles, California. Jessica earned a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from Georgetown Law, a JD from Southwestern Law School, where she worked on the Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas and the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law, and a BA in Communication Studies and Spanish from Loyola Marymount University. She is licensed to practice law in California and the District of Columbia. Jessica serves on the Executive Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and sits on the FCC’s Diversity and Open Internet advisory committees. In recognition of her public service accomplishments and commitment to mentoring, Harvard Law School selected Jessica as a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow for the 2013-2014 school year.
Brenda Rivas | Vice President, Human Resources and Operations
Brenda Rivas is a graduate from the University of Southern California where she obtained her BA in Cinematic Arts with an emphasis in Critical Studies and a minor in Spanish. She began working at NHMC in June 2010 as the Executive Assistant to Alex Nogales and later as the Director of Operations. As NHMC’s Vice President of Human Resources and Operations, she manages the day-to-day activities of the organization to include billing, human resources, board governance, and assists with grant writing. She completed a Certificate in Human Resources Management at UCLA Extension. Previous to working at NHMC, Brenda worked at Management 360 where she was part of the Manager-Mailroom Trainee Program. She has also interned at Identity Films and Mandate Pictures in Beverly Hills. While in film school, Brenda was a Special Projects Coordinator at USC El Centro Chicano and was part of the Latino Floor Residential Program.
Nilda joined the NHMC team in 2011 as the Programs and Outreach Coordinator. She was promoted to Director of Programs and Special Events in 2013. Nilda manages the prestigious NHMC Television Writers Program and NHMC’s other entertainment programs: the Latino Scene Showcase and Television Graduate Writers Program. She helped create and implement the latter two programs to facilitate more opportunities for Latino writers and creatives seeking employment in the entertainment industry. For four years, Nilda coordinated and executed NHMC MediaCon, an annual conference that convened hundreds of industry creatives, executives, and insiders to discuss the state of Latinos in the entertainment industry. In addition, Nilda oversees NHMC’s Impact Awards Gala in Beverly Hills, California, NHMC’s premiere fundraising event. Nilda is a graduate of the University of San Diego where she obtained her BA in Sociology and double majored in Spanish. While in college she was involved in the America Reads Program as a student tutor, was a founding core member of the Romero Center for Faith in Action at USD, and interned at the National Family Justice Center in San Diego. She previously worked at Orange County Head Start Inc. as a Family Services Advocate assisting low-income families.
Carmen joined the NHMC’s Policy Team in Washington, D.C. in July 2016. She is very passionate about NHMC’s telecommunications and media work. As a native of Puerto Rico, Carmen is looking forward to advocating for policies that address the needs of the Latino community. Prior to joining NHMC, Carmen worked as a contractor for the Department of Justice and assisted in investigations alleging financial fraud against federal agencies and federal healthcare programs. Most notably, Carmen helped recoup millions of dollars in a national False Claims Act whistleblower lawsuit alleging Medicare fraud. She also worked at the DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs on large document requests received from Congressional oversight committees. Carmen earned her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law where she was an Associate Editor for the Villanova Law Review and a Co-Chair of the Honor Board. She also participated in Lawyering Together, a pro bono program that pairs student with attorneys to assist low income clients with their legal needs. She worked closely with an attorney to foster open communication with the client by acting as a Spanish-to-English translator. Carmen received her B.A. cum laude from New York University where she majored in both History and Political Science. Her History Honor thesis was entitled Preserving the Puerto Rican Culture after 1898: The Realization of a National Culture in the Face of Americanization.
Andy Lomeli | Policy Associate
Andy has worked in telecommunications policy for several years at both the federal and state levels. Most recently, he helped manage the California LifeLine program at the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco. Andy also previously worked in both government affairs and public outreach at Public Knowledge in Washington, DC, and is a former NHMC Policy Fellow. Andy earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from UC-Berkeley and a B.A. in History from Stanford University. A proud graduate of both the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and the Public Policy and International Affairs Institute (PPIA) leadership programs, Andy is passionate about helping build the pipeline to policy careers for students from traditionally underserved backgrounds. Andy lives and works out of Washington, DC, where he can typically be found at Nationals Park or at the National Zoo.
Lia Duarte | Executive Assistant
A San Diego native, Lia Duarte joined NHMC in March 2016. Lia graduated from University of California, San Diego where she earned her BA in Communication and minored in Psychology. Prior to establishing a career with Hyatt hotels and becoming a hospitality professional, Lia’s experience included working in Sales and Customer Service, volunteering with human rights organizations like NCCJ and interning with MTV Tr3s where she assisted with coordinating events within the Latino community that focused on inclusion and diversity. Lia enjoys reading and weekends in Baja California’s wine country Valle de Guadalupe. One of her biggest passions is traveling and claims she hasn’t been everywhere, but it’s on her list.
Clarissa Corona | Communications Assistant
Clarissa joined NHMC in June of 2016, following her graduation from Cal State Northridge where she received her BA, with honors, in Communication Studies after only three years of study. As NHMC’s Communications Assistant, she manages social media, the website, research, and analytics. Previously, she interned for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in both the Media Relations department and the Research Communications department. There she met the bravest kids fighting for their lives while assisting with media events, working with the press, and interacting with patients and their families on a daily basis by preparing them to speak to the press. Clarissa spent the summer before her final year of college interning for two different nonprofits – the LAGRANT Foundation and SPARK Los Angeles. Prior to that, she interned for fashion designer Bri Seeley as her social media intern as well as the LAPD’s Media Relations department. In her free time, you can find Clarissa thrifting for records or books or catching up on her favorite television shows.