Keynote Speaker

CNN’s Nick Valencia

Nick Valencia

Nick Valencia is a CNN/U.S. Correspondent based out of the network’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Valencia hit the ground running in 2013 from the scene of many major breaking news stories including the manhunt for Christopher Dorner in Los Angeles, the devastating floods in Colorado, and the Oklahoma tornadoes where he was the first network reporter to get on-air less than an hour after the EF-5 tornado hit. Valencia is fluent in both English and Spanish and also reports for CNN en Espanol and CNN International.  Previously, Valencia was a longtime National & International Desk News Editor, as well as former head of CNN Spanish Desk.

At the network since 2006 where he started as a teleprompter operator, Valencia is one of only handful of journalists in CNN history to start at its entry level position and rise to the rank of reporter. At age 22, he caught the attention of network executives after funding his own one-man-band stint to Uganda, where he reported extensively on the return of Indian immigrants after they had been expelled from the country decades earlier.

During his four years reporting on Mexico’s drug war for CNN.com, Valencia was the first journalist to report about the use of social media by citizens caught in the violence. His courageous reporting early in his career has taken him through a Mexican cartel bar in Tijuana, drug violence in Ciudad Juarez, a women’s detention center in Alabama and gang infested Los Angeles. 

He was part of three of the network’s Peabody Award winning teams for his work on the coverage of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, the 2010 Gulf oil spill, and the 2011 Arab Spring.

Over the years, Valencia has built a reputation for his strong grasp of Latino issues in the U.S. In 2019, he was elected to be on the national board of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) as a Vice President, Broadcasting. He is also active in his local chapter. In 2013, the NAHJ awarded Valencia with its inaugural “Si Se Puede Excellence in Leadership Award.” Also in 2013, The Huffington Post acknowledged him as one of the 12 Most Influential Young Latinos Journalists in America. A prolific social media user, Valencia was named one of the “Top 50 Latinos” to follow on Twitter in 2012. 

A graduate of Anneberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California, he is the former documentary film maker for the National Championship USC football team.

Valencia became a father to a daughter in 2018.