Robert Valencia is a prolific analyst on the Americas and U.S. Hispanic affairs for Global Voices Online. His work espouses the necessity to understand storytelling in the public policy discourse in order to create commonsense policies that benefit the greater good.

College professors and graduate students have used Mr. Valencia’s investigation to advance their academic research on topics such as the war on drugs as a pan-regional fight, immigration, racial and criminal justice in the United States, drug legislation, conflict resolution, economic integration, and the rise of the Socialist movement in the region. Thanks to the quality of his analytical pieces that contribute to public policy advancement, Mr. Valencia has become a sought-after commentator for media outlets such as Huffington Post Live, CNN en Español, Univision, Russia Today, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, and NY1, to name a few.

Mr. Valencia became the first person in his family to be enrolled in college in 2001, he honed in his analytical and communications skills when he was accepted by Florida International University’s School of Journalism, while double majoring in international affairs with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean.

As a “1.5 Generation Latino,” Mr. Valencia was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and came to the U.S. when he was 13 years old. He hopes that as a National Urban Fellow he will be able to deepen his leadership skills to become a change-maker in his community.