Alumna Jacqueline Hernandez

She’s received numerous professional awards and accolades—from Fortune, The Hollywood Reporter, and more— but Jacqueline Hernandez (MBA ’98) keeps the focus on others.

“For each brand I have worked on,” recalls Ms. Hernandez, who has served in leadership roles at NBCUniversal, Telemundo Media, and People en Español, “the one common denominator that stands out is hiring the best and brightest people—and empowering them to excel at what they do best.”

Hernandez brings this team-first mentality to her new role as president of Combate Americas, the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) sports and multimedia entertainment company targeting Hispanics. In this position, she works to expand the company’s global reach, negotiate media rights, and increase the distribution of MMA programs.

Hernandez views the new venture as an opportunity to build a business that “has already proved to be a positive disruptor in the sports and entertainment media space.” Says Hernandez, “MMA uniquely serves the next generation of young, millennial, and Generation Z Latinos and multiculturals across the globe with great sports and inspiring storytelling.”

It was at Baruch, while studying for her MBA, that Hernandez discovered multicultural media. She already appreciated the College’s inclusive environment when a marketing class co-taught by two guest professors from NBCUniversal and leading ad agency Young & Rubicam (Y&R) strengthened her passion. “It was very important to me that the school I went to had a student body that was diverse and global,” she recalls. “And Baruch is number one in that regard.”

Born and raised in Manhattan, Hernandez is a recognized influencer: Fortune named her to its “Most Powerful Latinas” list in 2017, she received the PromaxBDA “BrandBuilder of the Year” award in 2013, and she was listed in Advertising Age’s “100 Most Influential Women in Advertising” in 2012.

“I see it all as a validation of the teams I’ve put together,” she says, “and the market that I love—the Hispanic market—which continues to grow in economic importance”—as well as a testament to “the blood, sweat, and tears my parents put into raising me.”

Gregory M. Leporati