The Washington Journalism and Media Conference


Maria Peña

Washington Correspondent, La Opinión / Impremedia

Nicaraguan-born María Peña has lived in the United States since 1978, and she has worked as a bilingual journalist in Washington for close to 30 years. Throughout her career, she has interviewed celebrities as well as local, state, and national leaders, including President Barack Obama, both as a candidate in 2008 and just prior to his reelection in 2012.

Maria has also interviewed foreign dignitaries, and she has covered international summits and various NGO events. Recently, she covered the move of the US and Guatemalan embassies in Israel, and in the Spring of 2016, she covered President Obama’s historic visit to Cuba. Later that year, she covered a world summit of mayors and regional leaders in Bogotá, Colombia.

She’s currently the Washington Senior Political Correspondent for La Opinion/Impremedia, covering all issues impacting the thriving Latino community in the US, including immigration, trade, foreign policy, education, housing, and electoral politics.

As part of her immigration coverage, she has traveled extensively throughout the southern border, visiting communities on both sides, and interviewing politicians and regular folks.

She has chronicled the deployment of the “Minutemen”, the congressional gridlock on immigration reform, the plight of undocumented workers at risk for deportation and, currently, the unprecedented activism in the immigrant community against president Donald Trump’s policies.

In the past, she has also worked for EFE, UPI, NBC Canal de Noticias, Univision, and Telemundo.
Maria is a regular panelist at prestigious TV talk shows, including Voice of America, Univisión’s “Al Punto”, CGTN America, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), CNN’s “Choque de Opiniones”, and Colombian NTN24’s “Club de Prensa”.

She also frequently participates in workshops, panels, media roundtables, and briefings organized by congressional committees, universities, NGOs, think tanks, and the State Department.

Maria is an active member of the White House Correspondents Association, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Her work got national recognition from the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in 2016.
She holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French from the American University (CAS ’90), where she has occasionally done graduate courses in human rights and conflict resolution.

She lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Her hobbies include reading, music, art, cooking, gardening, and other outdoor activities.

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