Alberto B. Mendoza joins JSK leadership team

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Alberto B. Mendoza is the new managing director for the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford.

Mendoza joins the JSK program from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), where he has served as the executive director for the past five years. 

Under his leadership, NAHJ expanded its reach to provide mentoring, leadership development and training for nearly 3,500 members around the United States and Puerto Rico. He launched a number of new initiatives for NAHJ, including a major fundraising drive, the Hispanic Cultural Competency Handbook for newsrooms and palabra, a new multimedia outlet that hires freelance journalists to tell stories of the Latino community. 

Amplifying the voices and careers of diverse journalists, as well as coaching new  journalism organizations and innovators toward financial sustainability have been Mendoza’s two main areas of focus in recent years.  In addition to his work with NAHJ, Mendoza has been a coach this year in the Facebook Sustainability Accelerator program, mentoring four of the 20 members,  leaders of  journalism organizations owned and led by people of color from across the United States serving historically marginalized communities.

Prior to joining NAHJ, Mendoza worked in leadership positions in nonprofit education, environment and health organizations, as well as in wealth management and fundraising. Among his major roles, he was Western Regional Vice President of Jumpstart, an early childhood education nonprofit serving children from low-income communities. He was president and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air, a California policy organization, and Southern California Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. Mendoza is a recent alumnus of the Media Transformation Challenge (MTC) program, an executive fellowship for media leaders based at the Poynter Institute. 

“Mendoza’s deep experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, partnerships and leadership development in journalism makes him an ideal addition to the JSK leadership team,” said Dawn Garcia, JSK Director. 

“I’m delighted to have Alberto join the JSK Fellowships at this important time in our fellowship and in journalism,” Garcia said. “The JSK Fellowships, which focuses on helping diverse journalism leaders succeed as effective change agents to tackle journalism’s biggest challenges, has had to pivot as many others during the pandemic.”

The JSK Fellowships recently announced it is expanding its support of journalism that serves local communities of color by offering Community Impact Fellowships for a second year. JSK created this special remote model last spring in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Like the inaugural Community Impact Fellows, the 2021-22 fellows will work on practical solutions to address information needs in their local communities while also participating virtually in weekly cohort meetings. Through individual coaching, tailored workshops and peer-to-peer learning, the JSK program will help fellows develop the leadership resilience their work requires. 

“We look forward to tapping Alberto’s talents as we enter our second year of JSK Community Impact Fellows and make plans for a return to campus the following year,” said Garcia. “His background, skill set and leadership style — collaborative, eager to experiment with new ideas, and with a generosity of spirit — fits well with JSK and our team, and with Stanford. I think he will energize our efforts to recruit journalists and technologists of color for our fellowship, boost our alumni and leadership initiatives with new ideas, and be a good member of our leadership team.” 

Mendoza joins the JSK leadership team as one of two managing directors working with Garcia.  Managing Director Pam Maples leads the fellowship selection, recruiting and Stanford partnerships elements of the program. Mendoza will manage off-campus engagement and fundraising, programming and alumni elements of the fellowship. 

“I’m thrilled to join the JSK team,” Mendoza said. “I come into this role full of enthusiasm, ideas and energy to recruit, mentor and work with the industry’s brightest. JSK Fellows are game changers in the field, and I want to ensure that their innovative projects will have a solid, sustainable plan for success.” 

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Sciences from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Born in Mexico, he grew up in Puerto Rico and San Diego. He is the founder of Honor41.org, an online nonprofit that highlights Latinx LGBTQ role models through social media and education efforts.