María Elena Salinas

Contributor, ABC News
National Judge

María Elena Salinas is a contributor to ABC News. For more than 30 years, she served as co-anchor of Univision Network’s flagship daily newscast, “Noticiero Univision,” and for 18 years she was the co-host and correspondent for the network's 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.

Most recently, Salinas served as a contributor for CBS News, where she reported across platforms and on coverage of the 2020 presidential election. She also anchored the award-winning documentary, “Pandemia: Latinos in Crisis,” which looked at how COVID-19 has affected the Latinx community. Her career began in 1981, where she served as a reporter, anchor and public affairs host for KMEX-TV, Univision’s affiliate in Los Angeles.

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.

She has earned top awards in broadcasting, including multiple Emmys, a Peabody Award, three Gracie Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award and the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism. In 2012, she was the first Latina to be awarded the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement. She was also inducted into several Halls of Fame, including Broadcasting and Cable, the National Association of Broadcasters and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ)

Focused on her mission to empower the Latino community, for 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.