Katiuska Fernández, the Dominican who works as director of strategy for ESPN and Disney

Katiuska Fernandez born in Santiago de los Caballeros, At the age of seven he emigrated with his mother and sister to the United States.

“For a long time I felt that I did not have the qualities to be here and look at me where I am.” And she expresses it this way because at 28 years old, she is the director of strategy and integration of ESPN and Disney Channel.

Katiuska never imagined occupying the position she has today, more than because of her origins, because she entered the university with the desire to be a doctor, when from one moment to the next “fate changed her plans”, and a year before finishing his career, He abandoned everything to dedicate himself to communication.

In an interview with Free Journal, said that, during her years at the university, she met a person who became her mentor, who discovered in her a gift for communicating.

“I studied music and medicine in college, and during that time I met a guy named Brian Lockhart, who became my mentor, and he told me that I should consider communication, and I was curious how to get a job there. area”, said.

The Dominican managed to get accepted to a boarding school in Boston, working on a news channel. Then, thanks to his mentor, he managed to get a position at the NFL Network.

There she worked as an associate producer for two Super Bowls, 50 and 51, and since then she began her career in the world of communications.

“After I left the NFL, a recruiter from Hulu sent me a message on LinkedIn and offered me and I work as a producer at the company,” said Fernandez.

She kept in touch with her college mentor, who in 2019 became the vice president of ESNP Plus, and who offered her a job as a strategy director.

His job and that of his team is to solidify the content strategy, release plans, performance, communication and distribution of Disney Channel and its parks, ESNP, ESNP Plus and ESNP Films.

“We work with ESPN, but with the entire Disney. My team works with ESNP, which are from Sport Center, but we also work with people at Nat Geo, at Disney Plus, at Hulu, and all the companies that are under the Disney umbrella, ”said the Dominican.

Katiuska grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studied medicine at Holy Cross University, after giving up medicine, earned a master’s degree in communications from Syracuse University, and later earned a certification in digital communication from Cornell University.

Katiuska Fernández has won three awards, where her career as a producer has been recognized. The first was received at age 23 while working at Hulu.

“El Mundo Boston, 30 under 30”, is the name of the award, and it was the first time that people discovered how old I was, “he said.

She received the other two awards thanks to Santa Brito, a Dominican who works as an advertising director at ESNP, and who nominated her for the Sport Business Journal, one of the most prestigious magazines in the country.

“I don’t usually say my age a lot, because people might think I’m a fake, but the truth is that I’ve been in this company for six years, and when Santa found out my age he decided to nominate me, but I never thought I’d get there to win, ”said Katiuska.

“What is needed to be a leader in a company like Disney is the same training and values ​​that you need to be a leader in your church, to work in culture, or if you study music, it is the way you communicate, how you collaborate, How do you organize yourself ”.

The second recognition that he received simultaneously, he obtained it from the hand of Hispanic Magazine Next Generation 30 under 30.

“Receiving these two awards has filled me with great honor. I know that we always feel unworthy when we win something, but I think I deserve it, although I don’t want to focus on that, I prefer to be able to empower and bring more women of color like me to also achieve what I have achieved. I can be the first, but I don’t want to be the only one, ”she said.

Katiuska has joined several Disney groups that work with women of color and Latinas, and has been able to give talks and presentations where she focuses on empowering these women, so that they can also achieve their dreams.

“If only I came, then I have failed,” he said.

Katiuska is also the founder of Lazos al Futuro, a non-profit organization that is developed in Luperón, Puerto Plata, where she focuses on providing young people with limited resources what they need to have a quality education.

“I have never disconnected from my roots, and the foundation has served for that. Also my grandmother, who still lives there and whom I love madly, “he stressed.


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