Luis Botello

Special Advisor

As a journalist in Latin America covering international and domestic affairs, my investigative work often led to government threats. After facing those challenges, I became a strong advocate for press freedom and high standards in journalism.

Today I work as a consultant for ICFJ, liaising with partners and advising on projects in Latin America and beyond. This follows a long career as a staff member at ICFJ, most recently as deputy vice president of global impact and strategy, where I oversaw the organization's monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) process and led its efforts in ensuring program impact.

My background: I am an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of experience in reporting critical issues and managing international media programs. I am also an international media analyst for major news networks such as CNN en Español, NTN 24, and Voice of America. During my reporting career, I covered assignments in Latin America, the U.S. and Europe, focusing on U.S. military operations, as well as political and labor issues. I also covered presidential summits in Latin America, elections and presidential visits to Washington, D.C. At ICFJ, I have served in various leadership positions, including senior program director of special projects and director for Latin American programs. In these roles, I designed and launched several of the most impactful ICFJ programs that engage media, civil society and government officials. I launched ICFJ’s flagship program, the International Journalists Network (IJNet), and expanded ICFJ’s presence in Latin America, helping make it the premier journalism organization in the region that develops groundbreaking programs on journalism ethics, press freedom, digital technology and investigative reporting in more than 20 countries.

I have taught courses at American University, Hampton University and the Interamerican Defense College in Washington, D.C., as well as the Iberoamerican University in Mexico City. Currently, I serve as a board member for the Fund for Investigative Journalism, the Border Center for Journalism and Bloggers, and the Latin American Center for Journalism (CELAP).

I have a master’s degree in mass communications and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Louisiana State University, where I received the Manship School Fellowship. I am also a recipient of  a prestigious Fulbright scholarship and was recognized as one of the top young professionals of Panama by the Junior Chamber of Commerce for academic achievements.

Ask me about: Investigative journalism, crisis reporting, media and democracy, press freedom, journalism ethics, journalism safety, civil society engagement, anti corruption efforts, disinformation and Latin American regimes

My pronouns: He/him

Contact me:, Twitter and on LinkedIn