María Elena Salinas

Contributor, CBS News
National Judge

María Elena Salinas is a contributor to CBS News. She is the former co-anchor of Univision Network’s flagship daily newscast, “Noticiero Univision,” and weekly newsmagazine, “Aquí y Ahora.” Called the “Voice of Hispanic America” by The New York Times, Salinas is the most recognized Hispanic female journalist in the United States. Salinas became a Livingston Awards judge in 2017.

Salinas began her broadcast journalism career in 1981 as a reporter, anchor and public affairs host for KMEX-34, the Univision affiliate in Los Angeles. Her insightful reporting on the impact of daily news on the increasingly growing Hispanic community in Southern California quickly earned her the credibility that would lead her to assume the anchor chair of “Noticiero Univision” in 1987.

In 2017, Salinas was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from American University School of Communications and California State University, Fullerton. She also was honored with the Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award.

In 2015, she received a Peabody Award, Walter Cronkite Award, an Emmy and a Gracie Award for her news and documentary special, "Entre el abandono y el rechazo" (Between Abandonment and Rejection), a prime-time report on the exodus of Central American children to the United States, which judges praised as "balanced and revealing."

Additionally, she is the recipient of the 2014 Broadcast Legend Award from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California. In 2012, she became the first Latina to receive an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Earlier in her career, Salinas was part of the Univision News team that received the Edward R. Murrow Award for the network’s coverage of the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park bombings in 1996.

Focused on her mission to empower the Latino community, for nearly two decades Salinas has worked as a spokesperson with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), encouraging immigrants to become citizens, register to vote and participate in the political process. The program has grown to become a Peabody award-winning initiative entitled “Ya Es Hora” (It’s Time). For these efforts and more, Salinas is a recipient of the coveted Intrepid Award from the National Organization for Women (NOW), and has been honored by organizations including the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, NALEO and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.