UDC alumna serves as leader of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists

UDC alumna serves as leader of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists

UDC alumna serves as leader of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists

UDC alumna Yaneth Guillen-Diaz serves as executive director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists
UDC alumna Yaneth Guillen-Diaz serves as executive director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). (Photo courtesy of NAHJ)

UDC alumna Yaneth Guillen-Diaz leads the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), a 3,600-member journalism nonprofit dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry.  

Guillen-Diaz was recently appointed as the organization’s executive director after serving for more than 20 years in various roles of increasing responsibility in NAHJ, including chief operations officer. She is the association’s longest-serving staffer.  

Prior to serving as COO, she was senior director of training and membership, designing, planning and implementing training programs for professional members, many through industry partnerships. In that role, she oversaw more than 20 professional chapters across the country, as well as developing programs to expand the organization’s membership. 

NAHJ is the largest organization of Latino journalists in the U.S. and is an educational and charitable association dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanic students, professionals and educators in the field of journalism. 

Guillen-Diaz said she draws from her experience of welcoming inclusion from UDC as she manages her roles at NAHJ.  

She is a 2001 graduate of UDC, where she earned a B.A. in Mass Media Art/Print Journalism. 

“The value of my UDC education went far beyond my degree. I had the privilege of studying with exceptional teachers whose guidance went beyond the classroom to include insights into how to navigate the complexities of a rapidly evolving society,” Guillen-Diaz said. 

“UDC’s commitment to diversity played a pivotal role in broadening my worldview. My exposure to a rich tapestry of cultures, perspectives and experiences became a cornerstone for my leadership philosophy,” she said. 

“As a leader at NAHJ, I foster an inclusive atmosphere that celebrates differences and harnesses the collective strength derived from diverse backgrounds. This reflects the ethos of UDC, where I learned that communication is not just about expressing one’s views but fostering genuine connections and understanding,” Guillen-Diaz added.  

She takes the helm of NAHJ as it prepares for its milestone 40th anniversary in 2024, which will be highlighted at its annual conference in July in Hollywood, Calif.  

As the board searched for a new executive director, Guillen-Diaz served as interim and successfully oversaw the 2023 NAHJ annual conference, drove the implementation of NAHJ’s strategic plan and launched a fundraising campaign for NAHJ’s 40th anniversary. 

“Yaneth’s commitment to ensuring the organization’s success, coupled with her deep institutional knowledge and vision for executing NAHJ’s mission, make her a natural fit to lead the organization,” said NAHJ President Yvette Cabrera. “As we head into a milestone year, I can’t imagine a more thoughtful, passionate, capable leader to lead NAHJ.” 

Established in April 1984, NAHJ created a national voice and unified vision for all Hispanic journalists. The mission of NAHJ is to increase the number of Latinos in the newsrooms and to work toward fair and accurate representation of Latinos in news media. NAHJ has more than 4,000 members, including working journalists, journalism students, other media-related professionals and journalism educators. 

In 2023, NAHJ trained more than 700 professional and student journalists, focusing on issues such as combating disinformation and misinformation, investigative reporting and artificial intelligence or AI. Expanding professional development is a priority of NAHJ’s strategic plan, as well as equipping members to thrive in all market conditions and advancing the goal of #MoreLatinosInNews. 

This fall, Guillen-Diaz oversaw the launch of the NAHJ Adelante Academy and its inaugural Latina Leadership Program, which seeks to shape the next generation of Latina executive leaders in U.S. newsrooms.  

“The role of NAHJ is more important than ever, as we work to build a news industry that truly reflects the country it serves,” said Guillen-Diaz. “Becoming executive director during our 40th anniversary year is a privilege, as we have the opportunity to unite the community around our mission and lift up the voices of journalists who are strengthening multicultural democracy through their everyday work.” 

Guillen-Diaz currently lives in University Park, Maryland, where she and her husband of 17 years raise their three children Isabella, Benjamin and David Jr.  

For more information, please visit NAHJ.org or follow on X at @NAHJ. 

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