CNET en Español: The 20 most influential Latinos in tech, 2017

For the fifth consecutive year, CNET en Español showcases the 20 most outstanding, creative and talented Hispanic professionals working in the US technology industry.

Laura Martínez Senior Editor / CNET en Español
Laura Martínez was a senior editor of CNET en Español. She has lived and worked as a journalist in Mexico, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires and New York. She was the founding editor of the U.S. Hispanic edition of 'The Wall Street Journal' and editor in chief of VNU's 'Marketing y Medios magazine. She is also the founder of Mi blog es tu blog, a daily commentary on Hispanic marketing, media and pop culture.
Laura Martínez
3 min read

For the fifth year in a row, our Spanish-language sister site CNET en Español has assembled its annual list of 20 Most Influential Latinos working in technology. As in previous editions, this year's list celebrates a group of men and women leading teams in both high-profile companies and startups, in and beyond Silicon Valley.

The 2017 list covers a wide range of positions, experience, skills and, of course, stories. It includes six women, along with other professionals hailing from, among other places, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Spain and the US. They work at companies such as Apple, Facebook, Qualcomm, Microsoft and Google; do research in prestigious universities; or have launched their own startups. There's a Mexican industrial designer working at Google, a Peruvian engineer developing software at NASA, a Brazilian speech engineer at Mozilla and even a Mexican-American journalist using VR technology to tell compelling stories.


This year the list, which underlines the importance of diversity in the tech industry, comes at a difficult time for many immigrants in the United States. Not only are there growing restrictions around H-1B visas for skilled workers, the DACA program has also been rescinded.

In celebration of this year's National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, and of CNET en Español's fourth anniversary (Sept. 19), we've selected 20 Latinos who are making their mark in this competitive industry.

How did we find them?

This was a team effort. After the publication of our 2016 list, the CNET en Español team began the search for this year's candidates, based on their skills, position and impact on the industry, and the novelty of their work.

As part of the selection process, we asked our 2016 honorees to nominate candidates for the 2017 list; these candidates would have to work in an organization other than the nominator's. 

The result of this selection process highlights yet again the talent, and the diversity of origins, stories and experiences, of these accomplished professionals.

Here is CNET en Español's 2017 list of the 20 most influential Latinos in tech (in alphabetical order):

  1. Manuel Bronstein, Vice President of Product Management, YouTube
  2. Òscar Celma, Head of Research, Senior Director, Pandora
  3. Alberto Cerriteño, Principal Art Director 3D for Everyone, Microsoft
  4. Nonny de la Peña, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Emblematic Group
  5. Serafín Díaz, Vice President of Engineering, Qualcomm
  6. Luis Domínguez, Avionics Systems Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  7. Carlos Guestrin, Director of Machine Learning, Apple
  8. César A. Hidalgo, Head of the Collective Learning Group, MIT Media Lab
  9. Daniel Loreto, Engineering Manager, Airbnb
  10. Diana Macias, Software Engineering Manager, Mobile and Front-end Development, Twitter
  11. Pilar Manchón, Director of Cognitive Interfaces, Amazon
  12. Jessica J. Márquez, Research Engineer, Human System Integration Division, NASA Ames Research Center
  13. André Natal, Senior Speech Engineer, Mozilla
  14. Charlie Ortiz, Director of the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing, Nuance
  15. Carolina Parada, Principal Deep Learning Engineer, Nvidia 
  16. Santiago Pina Ros, Software Engineer, WhatsApp
  17. Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, Director of Applied Machine Learning, Facebook
  18. Enrique Rodríguez, Executive Vice President & Chief Technical Officer, AT&T Entertainment Group
  19. Katia Vega, Assistant Professor of Design, University of California, Davis
  20. Alberto Villarreal, Creative Lead, Consumer Hardware, Google

You can also visit CNET en Español to learn more about the list.