The Voice of America has selected Sandra Thomas-Esquivel as the new director of its Latin America Division, providing news and information to audiences throughout Latin America as threats to freedom of expression, political instability, drug trafficking, organized crime, violence and corruption continue to plague the region.
A native of Mexico City, Thomas-Esquivel has extensive experience in leading complex news teams and has dedicated the last 25 years of her career in television and journalism to serving the Latino community in the U.S. and Latin America. As Univision’s Senior Director of Local and Affiliate News, she supported strategic initiatives for all Univision Television Group news departments across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. As Vice President of News for Telemundo 39 in Dallas, she oversaw the station’s news department as well as local productions across multimedia platforms. As Telemundo Network News Bureau Chief for Mexico and Central America in Mexico City, she led a team of correspondents, producers and video crews. She joined Voice of America in 2019 as chief of the Spanish language service.
In 1994, Thomas-Esquivel received an Emmy® from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for a network special about poverty-stricken Latino children in the U.S., and 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. That same year, she received the “Trailblazer Award” from American Women in Radio and Television.
She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the University of Southern California and Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and radio, television and film from the Instituto Latinoamericano de Comunicación Educativa (ILCE-UNESCO) and the University of Maryland.
“We’re excited to see Sandra permanently appointed to the position of Latin America Division Director, as she has been in this role for a while in an acting capacity,” said Acting VOA Director Yolanda Lόpez. “She has excelled in guiding VOA’s activities in the very diverse Latin America media market and advancing her division’s relationship with the large number of VOA’s affiliate stations in the region.”
Sandra Thomas-Esquivel’s appointment is effective as of April 23, 2023.