For the fourth year in a row, our Spanish-language sister site CNET en Español has assembled its annual list of 20 Latinos working in technology. As in 2015, this year's list celebrates a group of men and women leading teams in high-profile companies in and beyond Silicon Valley. The 2016 list, however, stands out in two aspects: it features the highest number of women yet -- nine of the 20 -- and it also highlights entrepreneurs of successful startups.
In celebration of this year's National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15, and of CNET en Español's third anniversary (September 19), we have selected 20 Latinos who are making their mark in this competitive industry.
This year's list covers a wide range of positions, experience, skills and, of course, stories. It includes nine women, Mexicans, Colombians, Argentines, Brazilians, Spaniards and Americans of Hispanic origin. They work in huge companies such as Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Google and Tesla, and their own startups (Matternet and Platzi). There is a Mexican designer working at Tesla; two NASA engineers (both women); a drone manufacturer with a noble purpose; a cybersecurity guardian at the Berkeley Lab; an adviser to the US Department of State and a Microsoft programmer from Argentina who likes to serenade his colleagues during his free time. (Meet them all here, and below.)
How did we find them?
This was a team effort. After the publication of our 2015 list, the CNET en Español team began the search for this year's candidates based on their skills, position, impact on the industry and novelty of their work. We may not have all agreed on the most notable candidates, but a voting process made the final list representative.
It is important to note that for this year's list we asked our 2015 honorees to nominate their own candidate to be profiled in 2016. The only condition: Their nominee would have to work in an organization other than theirs. Another rule we established for this year's list: We had to interview them in person in order to hear their story in their own words.
The result of this selection process highlights once more the talent and diversity of origins, stories and experience of these amazing professionals.
Here is CNET en Español's 2016 list of the 20 most influential Latinos in tech (in alphabetical order):
- Soledad Antelada Toledano, Cyber Engineer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Jennifer Argüello, Senior Social Impact Technical Development Manager at GitHub
- Jerry Bautista, VP and GM, New Devices Group at Intel Corporation
- Manuel Bronstein, Vice President of Product Management, YouTube
- Frances Colón, Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to the US Secretary of State
- Eddy Cue, Senior VP, Internet Software and Services at Apple
- Christina Díaz, Systems Engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mars 2020
- Carlos Domínguez, Director of Technical Development at Hasbro
- Nicolás García Belmonte, Engineering Manager, Data Visualization at Uber
- Dioselín González, VR Principal Engineer at Unity Labs
- Evelyn Miralles, Principal Engineer/Lead Innovator at NASA Johnson Space Center
- Selene Mota, Research Engineer at Samsung Research America
- Charlie Ortiz, Director, Nuance Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing
- Íñigo Quilez, Visual Effects Supervisor at Oculus Story Studio
- Diego Rejtman, Principal Software Engineering Manager, Microsoft.
- Lilian Rincón, Group Program Manager, Bots and Conversation As A Platform at Skype
- Paola Santana, Co-founder and Head of Network Operations at Matternet
- John Freddy Vega, Co-founder and CEO at Platzi
- Javier Verdura, Director, Product Design at Tesla Motors
- Eduardo Vivas, Head of Product for Talent Solutions at LinkedIn