Juanita Islas

director of programs International Women’s Media Foundation

Juanita Islas is Director of Programs at the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) where she oversees the IWMF’s global fellowships, grant-making initiatives, safety training, and emergency funds. She also facilitates the work of the Coalition Against Online Violence, a collection of global organizations collaborating to find better solutions for journalists facing digital attacks. Juanita joined the IWMF in 2015 to launch their $5 million multi-year reporting initiative in Latin America, where she worked with international and local journalists in Colombia, Mexico, and the Northern Triangle. In the past 6 years, she has led the design and implementation of numerous programs, totaling over $9 million; including, the Gwen Ifill Mentorship Program for women and non-binary journalists from underrepresented backgrounds and the COVID-19 Journalism Relief Fund in 2020.

Raised between Southern California and Tijuana, Mexico, Juanita has always been drawn to exploring and deconstructing the U.S.-Latin American relationship, especially regarding governance, migration, and border issues. Prior to the IWMF, Juanita worked with the Woodrow Wilson’s Mexico Institute, the Center for International Policy, the Organization of American States, and the National Planning Department in Bogotá, Colombia. Juanita holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is bilingual in Spanish and English.

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