Staff

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Brenda Victoria Castillo | President & CEO

Castillo is a Native Latine woman, an activist, feminist, national strategic leader, and renowned speaker in diversity & inclusion, digital rights, hate speech, media, civil rights, and social justice. She is an expert in alliance building, authentic storytelling, Latine in entertainment, and women’s issues. Castillo is a big believer that digital rights are a human right, that there is a very real correlation between hate rhetoric and hate crimes, and that tech companies should be held accountable for disinformation on their platforms.

Castillo currently serves as the first woman President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC).

Nominated by Congressman Joaquin Castro, Brenda was appointed to the National Film Preservation Board at the Library of Congress in 2021. She is an Executive Committee Member of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda; Steering Committee Member of Latino Voices for Boardroom Equity; a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights; and leads the Spanish Language Disinformation Coalition.

Castillo is an L.A. Emmy award-winning producer and media production director with decades of C-suite experience in the private, government, and nonprofit sectors for BP America, ABC, and KTLA 5 Television. She is the executive producer of the 10 year old Latinx Stream Showcase, and runs one of the oldest (20 years) diversity writers programs in the industry, the Series Scriptwriters Program. Her recent short, “You’ll Be Happy Here”, won Best Horror short at the LIFE Film Festival along with multiple nominations.

Daiquiri Ryan, Esq. | Strategic Legal Advisor & Policy Counsel

Daiquiri Ryan is a Tejana and first-generation lawyer with a passion for social justice and technology. As NHMC’s Strategic Legal Advisor and Policy Counsel, she is a new type of advocate, emphasizing movement-building, storytelling, and strategic policy outcomes. Daiquiri is a subject matter expert in broadband access, net neutrality, platform accountability, and other telecommunications and tech policy issues. Throughout her time with NHMC, Daiquiri has been a featured speaker at conferences and events such as Civil Rights x Tech, LULAC’s State of Latinx Summit, Latinx Tech Summit, and The Lawyer’s Committee’s Online Hate and Privacy Symposium. She is also a distinguished author with publications like Lack Of Internet Access Threatens 2020 Census Success And The Future Latino Voting Power and features in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Gizmodo, and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

In addition to her role at NHMC, Daiquiri is the Co-founder at Neta Collab, a digital-first branding and marketing agency dedicated to social justice, the Vice President at the Joey Ryan Foundation, and Chairwoman for the Latinas in Tech DC Metro Chapter. A proud alumna of Arizona State University and The George Washington University School of Law, Daiquiri enjoys lazy Sundays with her partner, José, and her dog Lupita.

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Felicia Mora | Director of Programs & Special Events

Felicia Mora delegates the planning and logistics of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s events from inception to completion. Over the past few years she has assisted in rebranding and improving the structure and coordination of NHMC’s events. 

Felicia is a fourth-generation Angeleno. She is the first in her family to graduate from college and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at Cal State LA in Chicanx/Latinx Studies. She is a proud Chicanx/Native/Filipinx-American, human-parent, and cat mom. 

Elizabeth Rodriguez | Executive Assistant to the President & CEO

Elizabeth Rodriguez joins NHMC as the executive assistant to the President & CEO. She comes from the South Bay Area, where she holds the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors close to her heart.

As a San Jose State University graduate earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Political Science, she has a strong background in bilingual news. She has worked for several news stations across the Bay Area and Central Valley, including Univision 14, Telemundo 48, NBC Bay Area, and KSEE24. She is out documenting life events and creating digital content in her free time. Elizabeth has a passion for storytelling and believes everyone has a story to tell.

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Hannah Cardenas | Communications & Talent Manager

Hannah serves as the Communications & Talent Manager at NHMC. She has a B.A. in Film and Digital Media from U.C. Santa Cruz and a Master’s in Education from the University of San Diego.

Hannah’s home and heart are the San Gabriel Valley, CA, where she grew up and came back to teach after completing her Bachelor’s degree. She taught high school CTE video production for four years in the East San Gabriel Valley and loved every minute of it. Hannah is a first-generation college graduate and first-generation Mexican-American. Her passion for filmmaking, film studies, and equitable education has always been at the core of everything she does. She hopes to help create change and is excited to work in media advocacy.

Leila Rezvani | Partnerships and Development Manager

Leila Rezvani is the Partnerships and Development Manager at NHMC. She first joined NHMC back in 2020 as an Executive Assistant Fellow then pursued teaching at the preschool level for two years before returning to NHMC.

Leila earned her Bachelors of Arts degree from Cal Poly Pomona in 2022. While at Cal Poly, Leila held many positions in her Latina sorority, Alpha Pi Sigma. She served as their Treasurer, Sergeant-At-Arms, Seminar Chair, Recruitment and Intake Coordinator, and is best known as the Adelitas Conference Chair where she would orchestrate and host an annual women’s conference to inspire local high school and transfer students to pursue higher education through panels, workshops, guest speakers, and providing scholarships opportunities. Along with the Adelitas Conference, she co-hosted a similar event, the Xicano Latino Youth Leadership Conference, for both men and women with the Latino fraternities, Lambda Theta Phi and Gamma Zeta Alpha. Leila is furthering her education and is currently pursuing a degree in Communications.

Leila was born and raised in Diamond Bar, CA and comes from a Mexican, Persian, and Irish background. In her free time she enjoys cruising, off-roading and camping with her friends and family.

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Cruz Castillo | External Relations & Digital Media Manager

Cruz Castillo is a part of the team’s external affairs, creating networks and building bridges with organizations, individuals, and the community. He helps coordinate and strategizes NHMC’s social media to serve Latinx and all POC best and promote all the team’s hard work.

Before joining NHMC, Cruz has worked various jobs ranging from NBCUniversal to CTV Canada. He has years of experience in the entertainment industry ranging from production crew to social media.

Cruz grew up in Whittier, California, and is one of many in his family to graduate from a university; the bar is set high with the Castillos. Cruz advocates for the underdog, fighting for those not often thought of or given the opportunity.

Cruz is a graduate from Cal State Los Angeles, where he earned his B.A. in Interpersonal Communication and a graduate from Institute of American Indian Arts where he received his Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. He is a proud Indigenous Native living on stolen land. When not at NHMC, he enjoys spending his time reading, being active in the community, and filmmaking.

Isabella Carcano | Special Events and Programs Fellow

Isabella Carcano joins NHMC as a Special Events and Programs Fellow.

She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism at Cal State Long Beach. Previously, Isabella has worked in special events such as weddings, galas, and high-profile events such as Academy Award shows. She hopes to one day produce such events in the future. Isabella also hopes to write and produce stories that will start conversations and empower others.

Isabella is a proud third-generation Latinx and vegan who loves watching movies, spending time with her dogs, Bandit and Jack, and spending time with family. In her free time, she also enjoys doing catering gigs that are always a good time at every special event.

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Jeanette Flores-O’Brien | Media Advocacy Fellow

Jeanette Flores-O’Brien is a multidisciplinary performing artist and educator, with over 17 years’ experience teaching in the public and private sector.

Her previous dance experience includes touring as a professional dancer with various major recording artists. She obtained her B.A in Theater and Communication Arts from Whittier College. During her time there, she received conservatory training in Theater, movement, and Vaganova Ballet at the Moscow Art Theatre School in Moscow, Russia. She also completed a residency with the Cornerstone Theater Company where she trained in and implemented Cornerstone’s unique process of creating community-engaged theater.

Jeanette is currently a graduate student at the San Jose State University’s School of Information, where her focus of study is in literacy and the decolonization of librarianship.

Olga Diaz-Nasser | Digital Equity Policy Fellow

Olga Diaz-Nasser serves as a Digital Equity Policy Fellow.

She is a fourth-year at the University of Georgia pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in public relations and Master’s degree in public administration. She is heavily involved in her campus community, serving as the executive director of UGA’s University Judiciary, the member relations manager for UGA’s Women in Media, a Grady College Student Ambassador, and a Carolyn Caudell Tieger Fellow for the public affairs communications certificate.

Previously, Olga interned in the Washington D.C. office of Representative Lucy McBath and worked at See.Spark.Go, a PR Agency. After graduation, she hopes to work in policy focused on helping Latinx and POC communities.

Olga is a proud Latina with Puerto Rican and Colombian parents. In her free time, she enjoys listening to audiobooks, spending time with family and friends, and binge-watching the newest TV shows.

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Francesca Burke | Digital Equity Policy Fellow

Francesca is a proud Cuban-American who joins NHMC as a policy fellow. She recently graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in International Relations and minors in Latin American studies and Spanish. She will return to Georgetown in the fall to pursue an international law degree.

Francesca gained experience in the policy and nonprofit space in her hometown of Marietta, Georgia, where she worked with organizations like the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials and New American Pathways. Through these jobs and her studies, she has developed a passion for using grassroots organizing and policy advocacy to support human rights. She hopes that this experience with NHMC will allow her to continue this work of empowering others while giving her the skills she needs to tackle human rights issues as a lawyer one day.

In her free time, Francesca enjoys singing and playing guitar and reading everything from literary greats to cliche romance novels.