Benjamin Jones has worked as a foreign correspondent for most of his professional life reporting on Spanish politics, culture, economics and business, travel and sports for a wide variety of U.S. and foreign print, online and broadcast media. He has also covered the Middle East and the former Soviet Union, and was a correspondent in the Gulf War.
Among the media he has worked for include The New York Times, Newsweek International (Special Reports), United Press International, Agencia EFE, Al Jazeera in English, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Europe Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, CNN International, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio and others.
In addition to his work as a journalist, for the past ten years Benjamin has been teaching two communications courses, Global Perspectives on the Media and Travel Writing and the New Media, at the Madrid campus of Syracuse University of the United States for its semester abroad program. Former students of his are now working for a number of prestigious media outlets including The Washington Post, CNN International and others.
Benjamin graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Journalism and moved abroad a year later.
Martin Roberts has been working as a freelance journalist in Madrid since May 2012, in which time he has reported for five UK broadsheets, has appeared on TV and radio all over the world and has been a regular studio guest for Spanish broadcasters, including state broadcaster TVE’s top current affairs programme, “La Noche en 24 Horas”. In addition, he has worked as a fixer for Al Jazeera, the BBC and ITV.
Prior to May 2012, Martin worked as a correspondent for Reuters for 16 years, during which he was posted in Mexico, Portugal, Washington, D.C., Toronto and, finally, Madrid, although he has reported from many more countries. Major events he has covered range from earthquakes to football World Cup finals, and amongst many other topics he has reported on politics, current affairs, economics, the environment and culture. Personalities Martin has interviewed include the Dalai Lama and he has grilled George W. Bush and Fidel Castro in news conferences. Also during his career at Reuters, Martin spent four years as an editor of the reuters.com website.
Before migrating to journalism, Martin originally studied Engineering Science, and holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Masters Degree, as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, from the University of Oxford.
In addition to journalism, he has translated four books from Spanish into English, which have earned critical acclaim from The New York Times and other publications. Martin’s interests include reading, cycling, cinema, theatre, opera, travel, cooking and photography.
Denis is an Irish photographer based in Madrid since 1989. He has worked and works for the two largest news agencies, -The Associated Press and Getty Images,- and his photographs have been published in both online and in print in The New York Times, LA Times, The Guardian, The Times, El País, Der Spiegel, and Paris Match, amongst others.
Denis currently works for Getty Images on a freelance basis covering features, breaking news and sports events in Spain and abroad, as well shooting for Getty’s ever expanding advertising and corporate clients, including but not limited to Adidas, Nike, UEFA, the International Olympic Committee, and FIFA. Denis also has a keen interest in both street photography and fashion, and their interconnection on social media. He holds a B.A. (Honours) in Politics and Geography from the University College Dublin.
Julio C. Muñoz is a respected and expert photographer residing in Trinidad, Cuba. He is a prolific contributor to media outlets and institutions such as BBC News, National Geographic, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, ROOSTERGNN, SF TV, SF TV, Santa Fe Workshops, Friendly Planet, The World Affairs Council and Distant Horizons, amongst others.
In the field of photography, Julio is known as the “Cowboy Photographer” and creator of the “John Wayne” Street Photography style, based on using your camera rapidly, and anticipating the scene about to be captured.
In addition, along with his wife Rosa, Julio is the driving force behind the “Project Diana,” a social initiative that promotes the care of horses, educating local cowboys in traditional equestrian training techniques.
Amongst his works, we also highlight the publication of the highly acclaimed book “Trinidad de Cuba,” an introduction to the colonial city, its architecture, people, events, traditions and religions.
Julio was one of the selected Cuban businessmen to meet with Barack Obama during his historic visit to the island in March 2016.
Desmond Boylan, Irish born in London in 1964 to Irish parents, Grania y Francis, started to work as a freelance photographer for The Associated Press in 1989, then joined Reuters from 1992 to 2013. Desmond’s pictures have been published in a wide variety of international media like National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Washington Post, Le Figaro, The Guardian, The Times, Die Welt, The Atlantic, El Pais, El Mundo and others. Desmond’s work took him around the world covering sports, news and features in Africa, Europe, The Middle East and Asia including conflicts in the Balcans, Olympic games in Barcelona, Athens and Beijing, Occupied Territories and The U.S. led invasion of Iraq. Based in Madrid, Spain, Desmond took the post of Chief Photographer India in New Delhi from where he travelled and documented stories in South East Asia, Afganistan, China, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and other countries in the area.
Desmond has been linked to Cuba since he met Fidel Castro in Pretoria, South Africa in 1994, during work at the ceremony of inauguration of Nelson Mandela. Both spoke in Spanish briefly and took pictures of each other, then Fidel Castro asked Desmond if he had ever visited Cuba and Desmond answered, “no, but after meeting you I will visit Cuba for sure”, and Fidel said “you should.” Desmond went to Cuba later that same year, in those times of the special period, and he fell in love of the country, its people, and met his wife Gloria. Now, 22 years later they live in Havana with their son Michael.
Nuala Phillips works as a web editor for the legendary fashion magazine Vogue, where she covers breaking news, social media and fashion weeks. She has furthermore recently been named Snapchat coordinator for Vogue Spain and manages the copywriting of many video productions.
Prior to this position, she worked at El Mundo newspaper for five years. First as reporter for the company’s luxury magazine, Fuera de Serie, where she worked as a fashion, lifestyle and beauty reporter; and subsequently, for the new group’s Sunday magazine, called Papel, where she was named Editor at large for the lifestyle section, managing both the printed edition and the online one, and covering topics from fashion, to traveling and beauty.
She attended Antonio de Nebrija University (Madrid) thanks to a full scholarship, where she obtained a triple major in Journalism, Audiovisual Communications and Advertising. She continued her education at San Diego State University through a one year program abroad. During her time in the U.S., she obtained a recognition diploma for her work as a Costume Designer in filmmaking, and worked as an intern for the local TV station KPBS. Back in Spain, she finished her last year of college and won the national contest that El Mundo ran all over Spain to recruit new talents. As a result of that award, she earned a full scholarship for a Master’s Degree in Journalism, Production and New Technologies (by the San Pablo Ceu University) and started at the Unidad Editorial Group.
Patricia Rafael Lage is a journalist with an extensive background in reporting, writing, editing and translating texts from English to Spanish, mostly in written media. For more than 14 years, she has worked and contributed as a reporter and fixer for five newspapers, –El Día de Valladolid, ADN, Público, Eldiario.es, and The New York Times-, two digital platforms, –VICE News Spanish and Broadly Spanish-, and a weekly magazine –La Clave-. She has covered political, court, health, immigration, social, and cultural affairs, publishing not only breaking news, but also long-form articles and features.
During the last five years, she has been working as a freelance reporter for VICE News Spanish, Broadly Spanish, and Eldiario.es, primarily creating pieces on political and social affairs, such as women’s rights, gender violence and historical memory. Since 2012, she has been based in Madrid, working as a fixer for foreign media, including NPR, regular work for The New York Times, and most recently for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Here, she contributes on reporting, gathering data and information, and finding and arranging interviews from Spain on diverse, current issues. Since 2017, she is part-time Professor at the Carlos III University teaching Political and Parliamentary Journalism.
Patricia holds a Master of Arts in Journalism, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Studies.
Natalia Martín Cantero is a journalist and university professor at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and IE University. She has been a correspondent based in San Francisco for EFE News Agency, and has worked from Brazil and China as a freelance journalist. More recently, she co-authored a book about the Internet of Things and authored a second volume about Spanish digital start-ups. Both titles were released by El Mundo and Expansión newspapers, as part of a collection on Digital Transformation commissioned by The Valley Digital Business School.
A multifaceted professional, her areas of interest also include psychology, health, wellbeing and sustainability. She has written about these topics extensively for a variety of media, including Spanish newspapers El País and El Mundo or Rtve.es, the Spanish Public Television website, where she held her own blog, “Vuelta y Vuelta,” for eight years.
Natalia holds an MA in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, which she completed with a Fulbright Scholarship. She also holds a Master’s degree from the El País-UAM School of Journalism and a BA from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
In her free time, she loves reading short stories, and practicing and teaching yoga.
Juanjo Montanary holds a BA in Journalism (San Pablo-CEU) and an MA in Marketing (ESIC Business School). After starting his career as an editor/reporter for traditional media outlets such as Cambio 16 and Radio España, he worked for eight years at Microsoft as Content Manager and Editor in Chief of the MSN portal.
Subsequently, he worked as Editor in Chief for both online and print magazines, as well as as Online Services Manager of the Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios (OCU).
He currently is working as a content specialist for different projects, such as the launch of the recommendation tool PeopleiTrust or as a social media consultant for the MadCool music festival. He has also participated in projects for Terra Networks, Smart Planet (Eduard Punset’s company) or Paraninfo Editorial.
Miguel Gómez Vázquez is a journalist with more than 28 years of experience and one of the founding members of the newspaper El Mundo. He currently serves as the Editor in Chief at El Mundo and as the Deputy Director of Publications at Unidad Editorial, one of Spain’s most important press and communication groups. Here, he dedicates himself to managing and coordinating the newsrooms of publications such as El Mundo, Expansión, Marca, Talva and 20 further magazines.
Miguel previously worked as Section Editor of El Mundo for more than ten years, and also as Writer of the Press Office of the Education Ministry of Spain, given that he specializes in education and university issues.
Miguel obtained his Bachelor’s degree in the Science of Information, specifically in Journalism, at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid. He also holds a degree in Spanish Philology from the same university. During his university career, he was the founder and director of two university newspapers.
Sonia González Criado is the current Press Officer and Communications Department Coordinator at Unidad Editorial, a publishing group that includes the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.
Sonia has more than 16 years of journalism experience, having been coordinator and writer at the “Vivir más” supplement, as well as other special publication supplements. She is also the coordinator of UESyndication, where she processes republishing licences and manages features, images, videos, infographics and other types of material produced by the different publications for corporations and other media outlets, both at a national and international level.
Sonia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid.
Iñigo García is responsible for the communications strategies at Matadero Madrid, one of the city’s most innovative cultural centers. Matadero Madrid was created in 2006 by the City of Madrid, with the mandate of “promoting investigation, production, education and distribution of contemporary creation and thinking in all of its manifestations. Its areas of activity include visual arts, scenic arts, literature, Reading, thinking, music and audio, cinema, design, fashion, architecture, urbanism and landscaping, all with an integral and multidisciplinary creation focus.” In less than 10 years, Matadero Madrid has become the third best valued cultural institution by cultural professionals, outranked only by the Prado and Reina Sofia museums.
At Matadero Madrid, Iñigo coordinates all the communication, distribution and social media strategies of the center, positioning the brand and its general identity within the cultural landscape of Madrid and beyond. He supervises the optimization of resources and designs tools related to marketing and communications, managing the existing audiences while at the same time, attracting new visitors, both by direct relationships and through the media. By analyzing the profiles and both online and offline behavior of the users of Matadero Madrid, he convertes them into loyal evangelists.
Prior to joining Matadero, Iñigo served as Communications Coordinator of the documentary film festival “Punto de Vista”, has coordinated external relations for “La Noche en Blanco” and has contributed to Spanish newspaper El País.
Lorena Álvarez Fernández is a journalist at El Mundo, one of the largest newspapers in Spain. She works on the leading Spanish news website, ElMundo.es, in the “digital encounters” section. Here, she manages the production of diverse interviews with people in the current public eye. She occasionally writes about soccer for Marca.com. She also opens the doors of Unidad Editorial for universities and educational centers interested in learning more about the journalism profession. She has formed part of recognized media outlets such as Punto Radio and Radio Marca.
Lorena holds a Bachelor’s degree in Audiovisual Communications, Publicity and Public Relations from the CEU San Pablo University. She completed her studies obtaining the First San Francisco de Sales Prize for her senior thesis on “The historical trajectory of the radio,” a radio documentary she completed alongside journalist Luis del Olmo. She also holds a Master’s degree in Journalism and New Technologies from El Mundo.
Elena Cabrera is a Spanish journalist with over 23 years experience in journalism and editing. She currently works as Head of Journalism at the porCausa Foundation of Investigation and Journalism.
Elena began her career as a freelance contributor for music, arts and trends magazines. She worked for ten years at the Benicassim Festival, managing its website and as an editor for its daily newspaper. She also was Online Manager at MTV Spain, in charge of mtv.es. Subsequently, she continued working as a desk journalist, reporter and editor at the culture and lifestyle sections of online news media, such adn.es, lainformacion.com and eldiario.es. She was also the managing editor of Desigualdad, a website with stories poverty and inequality in Latin America for Univision Digital Noticias. Now, she works on migration issues for porCausa foundation.
Elena has written several books about music, hundreds of articles, several podcasts and directed a series of radio shows. She studied Journalism at the Facultad de Ciencias de la Comunicación, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Carlos R. Laiz was born in Almería, Spain, in 1978 and completed his elementary studies there. He moved to Madrid to study Aeronautical Engineering, but a vital event made him change his professional goals, leading him to graduate with a degree in Film and Media from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He worked for almost five years at hola.com, the website of the most important gossip magazine in Spain, and also expanded his training, completing a degree in Interactive Digital Technologies at the same university. Subsequently, he continued his professional career in some of the most important media companies in the country, such as Televisión Española, Telecinco, Cuatro, Sogecable, or 20minutos. Recently, he returned to the classroom to obtain the title of Técnico Superior en Realización de Audiovisuales y Espectáculos from the prestigious Institute of Spanish Radio Television. In addition to his professional career in media, he devotes part of his time to the world of entertainment as producer and technical director, having achieved great success with the musical Rocky Horror Show and the prestigious stand-up comedian Santi Rodríguez, among others.
You can watch to some of Carlos R. Laiz’s most relevant (but not all) works at youtube.com/crlaiz.
Daniel Hernández began his professional career as a Project Manager, Creative and Head of Video Editing for Miracom Media. At that time, he worked for clients such as NOKIA, Fundación Repsol and CBRE. His passion for videogames and social networks led him to work as a Community Coordinator for Wargaming Europe in Paris. He was in charge of the Spanish social networks for more than 6 games simultaneously. One year afterwards, he was promoted to Community Product Specialist to become responible for one of the most famous free-to-play games of all time in Europe: World of Tanks (console edition).
More than 6 years of experience in those companies helped him to acomplish one of his main goals: working for Xbox Spain at Microsoft Iberia. He currently is working as a Social Media Manager for Xbox Spain.
Daniel Hernandez holds a bachelor’s degree from Burgos University and Paris 13 University in Communication and Media Studies.
Enrique Antón de las Heras is a university professor at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). He has held prior positions in the sectors of consulting as well as the health industry. His teaching and research interests relate primarily to business administration, marketing and educational innovation, but he also has strong interests in tourism economics, health and public Affairs.
Enrique has strong teaching experience at graduate and postgraduate level. He has served as Director of Postgraduate Programs at Universidad Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona (UPF) and he has been teaching as a visiting teacher at several Spanish universities.
Enrique holds a PhD in Economics from the Universidad Castilla la Mancha, a Master’s in Health Administration from Universidad de Comillas de Madrid, a Master’s in Health Economics from Universidad Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona, a Postgraduate Certificate in Policy and Corporate Affairs from IE Business School, a Postgraduate Certificate at the European Health Leadership Programme (EHLP)INSEAD. Fontanebleau, France, and Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Irolan Maroselli is the official photographer at the Fábrica de Arte Cubano (www.fac.cu) in Havana, Cuba. He has developed a style of concept photography utilizing the constructed, self-referential image as instruments to generate a fundamentally ethical message. His works have been exhibited at individual and group exhibitions both in and outside of Cuba. He has collaborated on projects such as Curadores Go Home and Carretillas; the former, an exhibition developed by artist Sandra Ceballes from Aglutinador-Laboratorio, and the latter, a performance directed by artist and professor Samuel Riera during the 11th Biennial in Havana, Cuba.
In April 2013, he participated in the International “Nordic Light FotoFestival,” where he presented his most well-known series, “La estafa.”
Most recently, he was invited by the PuNcTuM gallery to exhibit his “Campos de Batalla” series, organized by the prestigious Cuban curator Antonio Molina Cuesta, as part of the International Photography Festival “Foto México” in 2015.
View his portfolio at irolanmaroselli.com.
Jose Luis Barrionuevo Quintela is the Manager of ROOSTERGNN Global News Network and ROOSTERGNN Academy. He holds a Law degree, and is an expert in digital marketing and corporate communications. He is the founder of FACTHOUS, a digital marketing and communications agency that has developed SAVIOR, the first multi-platform and multi-format CMS for digital signage.
FACTHOUS’ current clients include General Electric, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, GlaxoSmithKline, TetraPak, Vogue’s Fashion Night Out, Women’Secret, Talgo, Essilor, and Cione, amongst others.
Always up for a challenge, Jose Luis is passionate about communication and education: “Education is the first and foremost way in which to fight inequality,” he says.
Jose Luis has been supporting ROOSTERGNN Global News Network and ROOSTERGNN Academy from the very beginning, with FACTHOUS being the primary benefactor providing financial and technological support for both news agency and the Academy.
Lisa Cirenza is a US born, London based artist pushing pigments and pixels on 2 dimensional surfaces probing today’s socio-political assumptions, connections and disconnections. She is a colourist with roots in cubo-futurism, and linework derived from her Sumi-e studies in Tokyo. Other training includes coursework at The Royal Drawing School, Central St. Martins, the Norfolk School of Painting, and the Jean Pierre Braz Atelier – Paris France. Her BS honors degree in Applied Earth Sciences from Stanford University allows Cirenza a unique angle on the understanding of pigments, fluids, and mediums, whereas her MA degree in International Policy Studies (also from Stanford) provide her with many of the insights that fuel her visual inspirations. She is on advisory boards for Human Rights Watch, The Stanford Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Seeds of Peace, and the Stanford School of Earth Energy and the Environment. She has exhibited in Kyoto, New York City, Silicon Valley, Edinburgh, Paris and frequently in London. Her work is held in state, corporate and private collections in Japan, France, Finland, the UK, Canada, and the USA.
Learn more about Lisa’s work in a BBC Documentary, the Financial Times, Reuters, 1340 Contemporary Magazine, Riseart.com, a Paper53 Blog Article sent to 2 million subscribers and her website. Read more about Lisa on RGNN.org here.
Thressa Willett is an American artist with a diverse background in the arts. Currently working as a graphic designer, college tutor, and dance instructor, she also has extensive experience in digital marketing, copywriting, social media, and nonprofit development. She is an ardent advocate of the common good—passionate for progressive politics, activism, and feminism.
Thressa holds an MFA in Studio Arts and a BFA in New Media from Maine College of Art, and a BA in English from the University of Southern Maine. She is the current President and spirited advocate of the USA nonprofit Portland Youth Dance. Thressa has also studied at the prestigious Stonecoast Creative Writing program, trained at various dance schools in NYC, Boston, and Maine, received certification from NYC’s Zena Rommett Floor-Barre foundation, choreographed for various dance and theater productions, and exhibited her soft sculpture and fashion designs at various art exhibits and runway shows.
Learn more about Thressa at her website, Thressa.com.
Bilingual Guide (English & Spanish). 24 hour Local Support. Havana, Cuba.
Catherin Peterssen is the Director of Communications for the Casas de Cultura, a division of the Ministry of Culture in Cuba. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Sociology, and a Master’s Degree in Education. She is based in Havana, Cuba, and is our local support, 24 h, in the Cuban capital.
Bilingual Guide (English & Spanish). 24 hour Local Support. Trinidad, Cuba.
María Muñoz is an architect/urbanist specializing in the reconstruction of legendary buildings and a graduate of the most prestigious university in her country, Cuba. Along with her father, Julio Muñoz (see RGNN photography expert bio above), she has been part of the “Contact People to People” and “Project Diana” projects. She works at the Conservation office in Trinidad and the Valley of the Ingenios in Cuba, and as such, is especially knowledgeable about the Trinidadian architecture. She has completed post-graduate courses at the Catalan UOC university, specializing in Rehabilitation and Restoration of urban landscapes. She is the owner of an accommodation agency called Trinidadrent, recommend by the La Petit Futé travel guide. Maria is based in Trinidad, Cuba, and is our local support, 24 h, in the colonial town.
RGNN Internship Seminar Coordinator. Cuba. Summer 2018.
Born and raised in Spain, Guillermo became aware of how enriching international environments can be when he first studied abroad. He enjoys multicultural atmospheres both in his professional and personal life. With regards to the former, Guillermo is passionate about two main themes: marketing and coaching. This is why he spends most of his time planning marketing campaigns focusing on portfolio management for international companies across Europe.
At ROOSTERGNN Academy, he has coordinated events for our Board of Directors in Madrid, the RGNN Tour in Paris, and during the summer of 2017, will be coordinating one of the Editions of our Internship Seminars in Cuba.