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Sandra Thomas-Esquivel, Latin America Division

VOA Latin America Division Director Sandra Thomas-Esquivel
VOA Latin America Division Director Sandra Thomas-Esquivel

Born in Mexico City, Sandra Thomas-Esquivel left Mexico at age 18 to pursue academic scholarships in Canada and the United States. Her career of more than 25 years in journalism and television has been dedicated to serving the Latino community and Latin America. While working for Univision, in 2011 she was promoted to Senior Director of Local and Affiliate News. In this role Thomas-Esquivel led and delivered strategic initiatives for the Univision Television Group (UTG) news departments across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

From 2015 to 2017 Thomas-Esquivel was VP of News at Telemundo 39 in Dallas, TX. She oversaw Telemundo 39 news department and local productions across multimedia platforms. In 2017 she was promoted to Telemundo Network News Bureau Chief for Mexico and Central America based in Mexico City leading a team of correspondents, producers, and video crews. Coverage included the 2017 earthquakes in the Mexican territory and the Mexican electoral process.

Sandra Thomas-Esquivel joined Voice of America in Washington, D.C. in June of 2019, as Chief of the Spanish service. Through her tenure, she led radio and TV programs, multiplatform special projects, and election coverage.

In 1994, Sandra received an EMMY award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for a network special about poverty-stricken Latino children in the U.S. The news departments she has led have won numerous awards, including Edward Murrow Awards, APTRA Awards, “Best Newscast” EMMY awards for “Noticias Univision 14,” and two consecutive Emmy Awards for “Best Newscast” in Telemundo Dallas, among others. In 2005, the California Chicano News Media Association honored her for her career achievements in broadcasting and for her many years of mentoring young journalists. The same year she received the “Trailblazer Award” from American Women in Radio and Television.

She was a Carnegie Fellow at the University of Southern California, where she obtained a master’s degree in International Journalism, completed in California, Mexico, and Cuba. Sandra holds BA degrees in journalism and radio, television, and film from the Instituto Latinoamericano de Comunicación Educativa (ILCE-UNESCO) and the University of Maryland, respectively.