Staff

Alex Nogales  | President & CEO

Alex Nogales co-founded the National Hispanic Media Coalition in 1986 with two colleagues in response to profound underrepresentation and misrepresentation of the Latino community in the media. He was elected NHMC president in the late 90s, after a decade challenging the broadcast license of any station that failed to hire Latinos in FCC mandated numbers. Today, Alex champions the policies and practices that bring Latinos online, support Latino media owners and content creators and diversify the news and entertainment industry.

Alex and the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition brokered the first-ever signed agreements with each of the four major TV networks in the country to publicly disclose the number of people of color making decisions on content at every level of their studio operations. NHMC convened concerned groups representing communities of color to form the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, which negotiated for the inclusion of a diversity commitment from the networks in these historic Memorandum of Understandings. It created a lasting effect still felt in Hollywood today and led the Washington Post to write, “If TV looks far more diverse today than film, it’s due in large part to the work of Nogales and his colleagues.”

When Latinos in English and Spanish language television were undercounted by the ratings giant Nielsen, Alex led the National Latino Media Council fight to force the company to address the inaccuracies so the use of the data would not lead to limiting Latino employment opportunities in English-language television or discourage the development of Latino-themed programming.

Alex has grown NHMC into a leader in the fight against hate speech and the preeminent media watchdog for Latino communities. NHMC led demonstrations against ABC, and its parent company, Disney, for its lack of diversity and boycotts of advertisers supporting radio programs, like the “Howard Stern Show”, “John and Ken Show”, and the “Jose Luis Sin Censura” program that served as platforms for hate. NHMC regularly engages in high-level talks with top cable and broadcast television executives, urging them to ensure fairness and accuracy in their stories touching on the Latino community.

After repeatedly calling for a government analysis of the connection between hate speech and hate crimes against Latinos, NHMC commissioned its own landmark studies and polls on the harmful effects of the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of Latinos in the media. Following the NHMC-organized protests of Disney, the company has hired Latinos who have graduated from NHMC’s TV writers program and produced Elena of Avalor, the first Latina Disney princess series. Lou Dobbs left CNN after Alex met with CNN president Jonathan Klein to discuss the host’s irresponsible fear-mongering about Latinos and prominent corporate advertisers withdrew their support of shows airing hate speech as a result of NHMC campaigns.

Alex was profiled in the Los Angeles Times’ Diverse 100, as an individual that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should nominate to their ranks to achieve greater diversity in Hollywood. Alex has been called on to comment on diversity in entertainment, open and affordable communication policy and hate speech as a guest on TV programs, including PBS Newshour and CNN Tonight, and in top print outlets including the Associated Press, the New York Times and USA Today. He frequently writes opinion pieces for Fox News Latino and, prior to his work with NHMC, earned multiple Emmy awards as a TV producer. His childhood experience as a migrant farmworker, at a time when businesses posted signs reading “No Dogs or Mexicans Allowed”, drives Alex in his work to ensure that Latinos are able to walk in any door.

Brenda Rivas | Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Operations

Brenda Rivas created and formalized the Department of Human Resources at the National Hispanic Media Coalition, where she balances the budget, secures staff benefits, coordinates key fundraising events and supports the board of directors in setting and reaching new goals.

To provide the resources necessary to start, maintain and expand programs to recognize and cultivate Latino talent, Brenda also manages corporate giving, assists in grant writing and plans the organization’s events to recognize local media professionals for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the region’s Latino community.

Brenda oversaw the completion of a grant project to air Spanish-language public service announcements, on Entravision, Univision and Telemundo outlets in California, to let viewers know about affordable Internet programs in their area with top actor and newscaster talent.

She rose the ranks at NHMC, initially joining as the executive assistant to the president and CEO, promoted to Director of Operations and her current role as a senior member of the team. Before NHMC, Brenda worked at top talent agency Management 360 and interned at Identity Films and Mandate Pictures. While in film school, Brenda was a Special Projects Coordinator at USC El Centro Chicano and was part of the Latino Floor Residential Program.

Brenda has a Certificate in Human Resources Management at UCLA Extension and a BA in Cinematic Arts, with an emphasis in Critical Studies and a minor in Spanish, from the University of Southern California. She is a proud Latina, wife, dog mom, USC Trojan, nerd, gamer and Gene Kelly lover.

Nilda Muhr | Vice President, Special Programs

Nilda Muhr directs NHMC programs, initiatives and events that highlight Latino talent in entertainment to foster greater diversity. Her focus on aspiring TV writers in the community–maintaining an extensive database of their projects and connecting them to a network of Hollywood insiders for employment and mentorship–has led to the staffing of more than 100 Latinos on top-rated TV shows.

Understanding that Hollywood producers are most engaged by scripts that leap off the page, Nilda created the Latino Scene Showcase, dedicated to the performance of the screenwriting of NHMC program participants. She also began an extension of the popular TV writers program for graduates that are still looking to hone their skills, network and break through in the industry.

For years, Nilda coordinated and executed MediaCon, an annual conference convened by NHMC, to bring together hundreds of industry creatives, executives and insiders to discuss challenges and opportunities for Latinos in the entertainment industry. She produces an annual analysis of network diversity data for the public dissemination and, throughout the year, plans NHMC’s annual Impact Awards Gala–the premiere Oscar-week celebration of Latinos in Hollywood.

Prior to NHMC, she worked at Orange County Head Start Inc. as a family services advocate assisting low-income families. Nilda holds a BA in Sociology and Spanish from the University of San Diego, where she was a student tutor in the America Reads Program, a founding core member of the Romero Center for Faith in Action and intern at the National Family Justice Center. Nilda is a CuBoricuan born and raised in Southern California who loves Mexican food, wine, reading, dancing and running…after her two-year-old son.

Gloria Tristani| Special Policy Advisor

Former FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani has joined NHMC as the new Special Policy Advisor. In this role, Tristani will further NHMC’s work to bridge the digital divide and advocate for responsible media that is inclusive of Latino voices.

Ms. Tristani comes to NHMC from Spiegel & McDiarmid LLP, where she represented the interests of clients including noncommercial radio stations, public, educational and governmental access channels, local and municipal governments, rural electric cooperatives and non-profit groups. She also served as president of the Benton Foundation, where she educated policy-makers, academics and public interest advocates on communications policy.

As an FCC Commissioner from 1997 to 2001, Ms. Tristani sought to accelerate broadband deployment to rural and other underserved areas; was an advocate for the “E-Rate” program, which provides discounted Internet access to schools and libraries; and supported the FCC’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) rules and policies to enhance minority and women ownership in the communications industry.

Tristani has also served as the Managing Director of the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, where she advocated for, among other things, a diversity of ownership and viewpoints in media and telecommunications and meaningful public interest obligations. From 2012 to 2016, Tristani served as NHMC board member where she lent her deep expertise and years of experience to NHMC’s work.

In addition to her federal regulatory commission experience with the FCC, Tristani also has experience working with state-level regulatory commissions. She served for several years on the New Mexico State Corporation Commission, the first woman elected to that commission and its Chair in 1996.

Tristani has a law degree from the University of New Mexico and an undergraduate degree from Barnard College.

Carmen Scurato | Director, Policy & Legal Affairs

Carmen Scurato leads the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s policy and government affairs work, based in Washington, D.C. She develops policy and legal strategies to ensure that Latinos and other communities of color have access to affordable and open communications.

As an advocate for reforms that encourage innovation, enhance competition, and increase diversity in the telecommunications landscape, Carmen reviews key policy items as they develop. She prepares legal comments explaining to regulators the impact of media and telecommunications laws and regulations on Latinos across the country. Carmen regularly represents NHMC in meetings with members of Congress and federal regulatory agencies. Her notable filings include comments on the benefits of the modernized Lifeline program, with the Voices for Internet Freedom group, and the broadcaster correspondence file.

She coordinates with other organizations to draft advocacy letters and advance public pressure campaigns that protect vulnerable communities and amplify NHMC’s impact in opening opportunities for the Latino community to connect and be heard. She regularly speaks on panels organized to increase public understanding of the ways that communications policy impacts people of color. Her work was critical in the formation of the Coalition Against Hate, launching with nearly 50 members.

Carmen also leads the NHMC legal fellowship program, for students to gain real-world skills in media law and advocacy. She serves on the public policy advisory council to the American Library Association and is a member of the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee. Media outlets including Fast Company, Fortune, The Root and the Guardian have quoted Carmen on policy and advocacy efforts.

Before joining NHMC, Carmen worked as a contractor for the Department of Justice and assisted in investigations alleging financial fraud against federal agencies and federal health care 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, a native of Puerto Rico, earned her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law where she was an associate editor of the Villanova Law Review and a co-chair of the Honor Board. She also served as a Spanish-to-English translator for Lawyering Together, a pro bono program that pairs student with attorneys to assist low-income clients with their legal needs.

Carmen received her B.A. cum laude from New York University, where she majored in History and Political Science and focused her Honor thesis on the preservation of Puerto Rican culture in America. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar, Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Federal Communications Bar Association.

Francella Ochillo | Policy Counsel

Francella Ochillo analyzes and helps implement communication policy initiatives for the National Hispanic Media Coalition, while coordinating government outreach and public engagement efforts that bring Latinos online and on the airwaves. She also develops and maintains strategic relationships with organizational allies to amplify the voices of Latinos in Washington.

Before joining the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Francella worked on securities fraud investigation teams at the Department of Justice. In her time working at DOJ, she helped prosecute banks for corporate misconduct under the False Claims Act and Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act.

Francella earned a B.S. in Marketing from Morgan State University and a J.D. from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. During her studies, she excelled as a moot court competitor and went on to represent the city of Chicago in administrative hearings. In her free time, you can find Francella teaching classes at the YMCA.

Felicia Mora | Special Events Manager

Felicia Mora supports the planning and execution of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s events throughout the year and serves as the organization’s community liaison, representing the organization at events and conferences within the Los Angeles area.

Before joining NHMC, Felicia worked at various non-profit educational institutions, advocating for low-income people of color. Most recently, she managed Irvine Valley College’s multicultural event programming within their Equity and Diversity Department. There she organized large events including their Día Del Los Muertos and Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Felicia grew up in Whittier, California and is the first in her family to graduate from college. Originally headed toward the fashion industry, she eventually discovered a passion for understanding intersectional multiculturalism.

Felicia graduated from Cal State Fullerton, where she earned her B.A. in American Studies and a Minor in Art. She is a proud Chicana and Filipina-American. When not at NHMC, she enjoys spending time with her two-year-old son or attending local events, supporting artists in the surrounding community.

Clarissa Corona | Communications Manager

Clarissa Corona manages NHMC’s online outreach, website updates, monthly newsletters and research needs. She consistently increases public engagement to the organization’s online platforms and monitors analytics to optimize ways that the Latino community can contribute, participate and feedback.

Clarissa’s thorough research supports a number of NHMC programs and campaigns. Leaders of underrepresented groups across the nation have drawn upon her research on connections between hate speech and hate crimes, during their convenings around allied anti-hate speech work.

Previously, she interned for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in their media relations and research communications departments. Clarissa supported brave children fighting for lives, preparing patients and their families to speak to the press and engage in media events. The summer before her final year of college, she interned at two nonprofits – the LAGRANT Foundation, helping to facilitate their educational support for students of color, and Spark Los Angeles, to encourage at-risk youth to complete their education and pursue their career goals.

Clarissa graduated from California State University, Northridge, where she received her B.A. in Communication Studies with honors, after only three years of study. While in school, she also worked as a social media intern for designer Bri Seeley, empowering women through fashion, and as a media relations intern for the Los Angeles Police Department. In her free time, you can find Clarissa thrifting for records or books or catching up on her favorite television shows.

Jordan Rubio | Administrative Assistant

Jordan Rubio serves as a direct assistant to CEO Alex Nogales. He also helps with coordinating NHMC events and conducts research to support ongoing NHMC projects.

Before NHMC, Jordan assisted on a variety of film and television projects, including “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and the documentary “Tickling Giants.” He also worked as an Executive Assistant at the Veteran Artist Program, a nonprofit that facilitated military veteran’s entrance into the world of theater, television, and film.

As an avid fan of television, Jordan will argue with anyone who doesn’t think that “Futurama” is the greatest television show of all time. Jordan attended New York University where he received a B.S. in Psychology and Business of Entertainment Media and Technology.