When I was 16 years old, I dreamed about becoming an interviewer. The art of the interview stirred me up like no other journalism genre. My ideal was to interview all sorts of characters and I saw Spanish journalists Ana Romero and Jesús Quintero as my two references in the field. After the deep disillusionment with the first year of journalism studies at the University, I decided to abandon school and took a sabbatical to think about what to study next. After months of travelling in the US and France, I started Law School in Madrid and felt in love with the man who took me to the US after finishing my law degree and a master in financial markets. We settled down in Chicago, where I worked as a Visiting Scholar at Northwestern University. I there learned the art of academic research with Karen J Alter in the article “Private Litigants and the New International Courts” and wrote a number of case studies with Kellogg Professors Timothy Feddersen and Daniel Diermeier (now at the University of Chicago), who introduced me to the field of non-market strategy. In other words, how companies can and should manage the social and political environments.
But the passion for journalism continued to thrive in me, and led me to New York, where I started the Master of Science in Journalism at Columbia University as a Fulbright Scholar. I was 26 now and learning from the best journalists in the world, learning their method, their rigor and their excellence. At Columbia –home to the Pulitzer Prize- we got inspired on a daily basis with the importance of developing an independent, critical and free press as a guarantor of a healthy democracy. I became part of an investigative journalism initiative, called News 21, funded by the Knight Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, and our articles on the private funding of the US national security after the Sept. 11th attacks were published on Forbes and The New York Times. During this time, I met Anya Schiffrin, who hired me at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (a think tank presided by Nobel Laureate in Economics, Joseph Stiglitz) to coordinate a number of journalism training programs for reporters in emerging democracies.
In 2008, I returned to Madrid and worked as a reporter for El Confidencial, a leading Spanish online media outlet. But in the context of deep financial crisis, journalists’ salaries were too low and I could hardly pay the bills. I sadly left the post when I was offered a stable position as head of international media relations at Garrigues, the largest law firm in Spain. This position exposed me to the dynamics of the Anglo-Saxon financial press. I observed how it became a real pressure group to the Spanish government. In February 2010, I coordinated an interview between Stephen Fidler and Antonio Garrigues, the firm’s chairman, which sparked my current academic thesis on the influence of the financial markets in the financial press with interesting consequences in media transparency. This has led me to explore transparency policies in the relationship between the media and relevant stakeholders as a way to safeguard the freedom of the press as set forth in our Constitution. Spanish constitutional law professor and specialist in citizens’ mobilization, Rafa Rubio, is my thesis director.
Three years later, I left Garrigues to become partner at Vinces, a Spanish consultancy founded by David Córdova. We aim at building the legitimacy of corporate interests in the social, regulatory and political environments. In 2014, I was appointed member of the board at Transparency International-Spain. I am also director of the International Executive Program on Government and Corporate Affairs to train executives at global organizations in managing the non-market environments under the principles of transparency and ethics developed by the OECD.
I haven’t abandoned journalism completely. I am the author of Rincon de Transparencia at El Confidencial and I am a contributor at ETHIC, where I write interviews and profiles of leaders in fields like philosophy, politics and spirituality.