Fernando Espuelas Biography
Fernando Espuelas is an entrepreneur and political strategist in Washington, DC. He advises corporate leaders, governments, and prominent people across the globe as Co-Chairman of Mercury in Washington, DC.
In a wide-ranging international career spanning three decades, Espuelas has bridged the worlds of communications, technology, and politics.
Espuelas has produced and hosted top-rated national TV and radio programs, and contributed to CBS News, CNN.com, C-SPAN, FoxNews, France 24, Hearst Television & Radio, The Hill, The Huffington Post, iHeart, NPR News, MSNBC, La Opinión, Sky News, Spotify, Univision, and many other platforms.
Fernando Espuelas is a Henry Crown Fellow and Member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
Espuelas co-founded and was the first Chairman and CEO of StarMedia, the pioneering Internet media and technology company for Spanish and Portuguese-speaking audiences worldwide.
StarMedia led the way in the development of the Latin American Internet industry, including raising the first dollar of venture funding and the first IPO for a Latin Internet company. The company was renowned for product innovations like the first free email service, first instant messaging system, first online TV network with CBS News, and breakthrough mobile + broadband Internet services that impacted the lives of millions of people.
Espuelas was the producer and host of national politics TV show "Matter of Fact with Fernando Espuelas." Produced and distributed by Hearst Television and Sony Pictures Television at the Newseum studios in Washington, D.C. A ratings success, "Matter of Fact with Fernando Espuelas" became the No. 1 new national weekend show on American television and a top-five national Sunday newsmaker show in the first 3 months, according to Nielsen data. Espuelas is the first American Latino to host a mainstream national TV Sunday politics program.
Espuelas was previously the host and managing editor of the national, bilingual radio talk show "Fernando Espuelas". The top rated Latino talk-radio program in the country, the show was produced and broadcast daily from Washington by Univision Radio, on apps such as iHeart and Tunein, podcasts and streaming at univision.com.
Espuelas had developed and launched the first English-language radio talk show on Univision in 2009. Because of the show’s impact, Espuelas was named by PODER Magazine one of "The Nation's 100 Most Influential Hispanics."
Espuelas has interviewed such leading political figures as President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Leader Harry Reid, civil rights icon Dolores Huerta, Sen. John McCain, Gov. Jeb Bush, Speaker Newt Gingrich, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Robert Menendez, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Joaquin Castro, Chair of the Democratic Party Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the Chairman of the Republican Party Reince Priebus, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Richard Durbin, Sen. Lindsey Graham, the US Secretaries of Labor, Education, Veteran Affairs, and HHS, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and many other renowned national political and cultural figures.
Espuelas' business endeavors have earned him worldwide recognition. Time magazine and CNN named him one of the “Leaders of the Millennium,” and Crain's New York Business magazine gave him its "All Star" leader award. Espuelas was also a recipient of Latin Trade Magazine's Bravo award for Internet CEO of the Year.
Espuelas has been ranked on the power lists of several major media including: CNN, Time, the Hollywood Reporter, the Industry Standard, Latino Leaders Magazine, Red Herring Magazine, Silicon Alley Reporter, Hispanic Business Magazine, Upside Magazine, Hispanic Magazine, LatinVision, and others.
The World Economic Forum chose him as a "Global Leader of Tomorrow" in 2000. Espuelas was also named "Immigrant of the Day" by Immigration Daily. And the U.S. Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) included Espuelas in its HITEC 100, the list of "Most Influential Hispanics and Rising Stars in Information Technology."
Espuelas was the Managing Director of Marketing Communications at AT&T Latin America. There he led the launch of the AT&T brand across the region. As part of his brand strategy, Espuelas conceived and launched AT&T's highly-acclaimed first online services in Latin America.
Before AT&T, Espuelas held various senior positions at Ogilvy & Mather in both the United States and Latin America. Espuelas also worked in account management positions at other WPP advertising and direct marketing agencies in New York.
Espuelas has been active in community development. He co-founded and was Chairman of the StarMedia Foundation. Working in alliance with the Inter-American Development Bank and Microsoft, the StarMedia Foundation funded and built more than 150 technology schools in some of the poorest neighborhoods of Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay. He has also served on the corporate board of the Educational Broadcasting Corporation (owner of PBS flagship station Thirteen), as well as on the Board of Trustees of Connecticut College. Espuelas served on the Board of Directors of Parent Revolution, a non-profit public school advocacy group working to drive education reform across the nation. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Wesley School.
Espuelas received a B.A. in History with Distinction from Connecticut College. While he was a student at Conn, he worked as a copy-boy and features reporter for the New London Day newspaper. He served as Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of The College Voice Publishing Group, Connecticut College's student publications organization.
Fernando Espuelas started his first company at North Street School in 6th grade.