As part of our ongoing coverage of Hispanic Heritage Month 2020, Digital Trends compiles a list every year of the most influential Hispanic leaders in the technology industry.
We highlight the work of those men and women holding important positions at companies both enormous and tiny, people doing everything possible to make sure that the Hispanic community is best represented in the technology industry. Without further ado, we present this year’s winners.
Evelyn Miralles, from the University of Houston-Clear Lake
Miralles was the leader of NASA’s Virtual Reality Laboratory at Johnson Space Center, where she built a distinguished career of over 25 years and received multiple awards for her innovations, mainly in the software field. Her Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics has been used to simulate space operations. She claims that it is inspiring to be part of space explorations through virtual reality. She grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, and has lived in the United States for 30 years.
Guillermo Diaz Jr., from Kloudspot
Of Mexican ancestry, Guillermo Diaz Jr. recently signed on as the CEO of Kloudspot, an AI and IOT analytics platform. But before that, he spent two decades at Cisco, where he was Chief Information Officer, a technology company with which he shares the concept of the Internet of Everything: The smart connection of people, processes, data, and things. In an interview, he said that when asked if he was ready to be CIO at Cisco, emotions ran high and he couldn’t help but feel honored to lead the IT area of one of the most important companies in the world.
Álvaro Celis, from Microsoft
Family, integrity, and passion are the values with which Álvaro Celis defines himself. At the age of 15, his passion for technology led him to study Computer Science in Caracas, Venezuela. Upon graduation, he landed a job at Microsoft. Since then, 28 years have passed, and he continues in the Redmond, Washington, company. He is Vice President of Device and Channel Sales. Without abandoning his Latino origins, he is part of the firm’s HOLA initiative, which seeks to create leadership and opportunities for Latinos in the U.S. technology industry.
Víctor Delgado, Strategic Alliances, Global Mobile B2B at Samsung
Víctor Delgado a Latino, whose current role at Samsung is to establish Global Strategic Alliances from South Korea, announced the Galaxy Z Fold 2 folding phone to the world. Delgado is an expert in marketing and communications and holds an MBA, which made him the ideal person to reveal the long-awaited Z Fold 2. But Delgado’s career in tech began much earlier: He was Senior Manager of Corporate Sales at Verizon Wireless — and previously worked for its competition, Sprint.
Nina Vaca, from Pinnacle Group
Nina Vaca is one of the most influential Hispanics in the business world. This Ecuadorian-born entrepreneur moved to Los Angeles at a very young age, with her father and mother, and with the American dream in her suitcase. Currently, she leads Pinnacle Group, one of the largest Latino companies in the United States, and has promoted education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Lilian Rincón, from Google
This Venezuelan has influenced one of the most disruptive services in recent years: The Google Assistant. Lilian Rincón leads the group that creates new features and functions for the platform. She was nine years old when she arrived in Canada and while unable to speak English, she found a kind of universal language in mathematics. Focused on the technology industry and always versed in artificial intelligence and machine learning, she was previously working on Skype.
Marcelo Claure, from Softbank
Of Bolivian origin, Marcelo Claure was the most visible face of the telecommunications firm Sprint, where he worked as an executive director. Today, he is the chief operating officer of SoftBank Group International, a Japanese holding company that invests in artificial intelligence and other transformative technologies. Previously, Claure founded Brightstar Corporation.
Kety Esquivel, independent consultant
Ignacio Contreras, from Qualcomm
This Chilean is one of the most important people when it comes to our perception of the 5G network. He holds a management position at Qualcomm, where he has already been working for more than 10 years. From his childhood, he remembers that his father gave him money and, instead of spending it on comics, he bought everything he needed to build small circuits. In an interview with Digital Trends en Español, he assures that soon the 5G network will cease to be premium and will become standard.
Diana Trujillo, from NASA
This Colombian woman is one of the most important Latin Americans at NASA and perhaps one of the few who have managed to fulfill her childhood dream of working for this organization. Diana Trujillo has worked for the Goddard Space Flight Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and now she is part of Mars 2020, the mission that seeks to prove if there was life on the red planet.
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