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Vincent Boudreau
Honorary President
Juan Carlos Mercado
Founder - Chair
Dean of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education

Vincent Boudreau is President of The City College of New York. Boudreau has served as dean of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at   City College since 2013. He was previously director of the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service from 2002 through 2013. Other administrative positions Boudreau has held at CCNY include director of the M.A. Program in International Relations, chair of the Department of Political Science, director of the International Studies Program and deputy dean of the Division of Social Science. He is a professor of political science at CCNY and a member of the City University of New York graduate faculty. A specialist in the politics of social movements, particularly in Southeast Asia, his latest book is Resisting Dictatorship: Repression and Protest in Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press). Boudreau is a graduate of Cornell University, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1991.

Juan Carlos Mercado is the Dean of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education.  Prior to his appointment as Dean, Mercado was a professor and the Chair of Foreign Languages and Literature at CCNY from 2000 to 2007; in 2011, he served as Acting Provost of the College. He also teaches at the PhD Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures & Languages at the CUNY Graduate Center.  Mercado has worked on a myriad subjects including 19th Century Spanish American Literature, the history of ideas, and on the Spanish exploration of what is today the United States. He is the author of many books, reviews, and articles. His most recent publications are two annotated editions of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés: Cartas sobre la Florida (Letters from Florida) 1555-1574 (2002); Menéndez de Avilés y la Florida: Crónicas de sus expediciones (2006) (as well as the English language version), and an annotated edition (in collaboration with Isaías Lerner) of Juan María Gutiérrez's Escritores Coloniales/Colonial Writers (2012). 

Maite Junco
Vince Chancellor of Communications and Marketing
City University of New York
Diana Vargas
Executive Director TAFFNY

Maite Junco is the Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing at the City University of New York. She oversees media relations, marketing, social media and multimedia along with the television station CUNY TV and CUNY Citizenship Now!, a program that provides free immigration law services.

Ms. Junco brings more than 30 years of experience in communications and journalism to CUNY. A skilled leader with an accomplished résumé in media, education, government and electoral politics, Junco has managed an array of communications operations and established a track record of building diverse, high-performing teams with a commitment to transparency. 

Diana is the Artistic Director of the Havana Film Festival New York and CortoCircuito / Short Cuts Latino Short Film Festival of New York. She is also a producer and media liaison with CUNY-TV series Nueva York, for which she has received five consecutive Emmys. Diana works in the publicity and promotion of cultural events in New York City, specializing in film, theater and music festivals. She has also been part of the Cinema Tropical team (an organization dedicated to distributing and promoting Latino films in the United States), Celebrate Mexico Now! Festival, and LART (Latino Artists Round Table). She has been invited to be a jury member and curator in film festivals around the world and has received several international awards for the documentary series, Rostros y Rastros. As a journalist, she has published in newspapers and magazines including Hoy Newspaper (New York City), El Puente Latino, Kinetoscopio (Colombia), and La Opinión (Los Angeles). As a curator and promoter of cultural events in New York City, Diana has been able to promote programs that increase the awareness and the appreciation of local and international cultures while strengthening her Latino cultural identity. 

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Carlos Aguasaco
Festival Coordinator
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Samantha Choos
Programming Assistant

Carlos Aguasaco is an Associate Professor of Latin American Cultural Studies & Spanish at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of The City College of CUNY. In 2010, Carlos won the India Catalina prize for best video in the art category at the Cartagena International Film Festival. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes on Latin American Civilization, Latin American Popular Culture, Latin American Cinema, Populism and  Popular Culture, and Spanish. Carlos was born in Bogotá in 1975 and immigrated to New York in 1999. He received a Ph.D. at Stony Brook University (SUNY,) an M.A. from The City College of New York (CUNY) and a B.A. from the National University of Colombia. He is the founder of Artepoética Press -Hispanic Publishing House. As author, he has co-edited eight literary anthologies and published four books of poems, most recently Poemas del metro de Nueva York (2014) and Antología de poetas hermafroditas (2014). He is the author of ¡No contaban con mi astucia! México: parodia, nación y sujeto en la serie de El Chapulín Colorado (2014).  

Samantha Choos graduated from Johns Hopkins University went on to receiver her M.A. from New York University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, where she completed her thesis on the logistics of film festivals with a focus on the Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY). Since 2016 she has been HFFNY’s festival coordinator, as well as a part of the teams of some of the most representative film festivals and showcases of Latin American cinema in NY, including TAFFNY. She currently works at The American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba (AFLFC), where she heads the organization’s cultural initiatives, educational and professional development projects, and exchange programs.

Richard Bueno Hudson
Jerry W. Carlson

Richard Bueno Hudson holds a PhD in Spanish Language from the University of Salamanca (Spain. He has also carried out postgraduate studies at the universities of Oviedo (Spain) and Aston (Birmingham, UK). He is a Civil Servant of the Spanish Government (Ministry of Education and Vocational Training).

He is currently the Executive Director of the Instituto Cervantes in New York (2019), and he has held different positions at the institution: Academic Director of the Instituto Cervantes at its Madrid headquarters (2015-19), Deputy Academic Director (2012-15). He has also worked at the different Instituto Cervantes centers in Manchester (2008-12), New York (2004-2008), and Chicago (2001-04).

He has extensive experience in the Academic field and has directed and managed international projects of certification and online education, including the direction of the SIELE project, an Ibero-American language certification joint project of IC, UBA, UNAM and USAL. He has been the Executive Secretary General of the SICELE Association, a position from which he coordinated the work of major universities in Latin America and Spain. He has held the Vice-presidency of the Executive Committee of ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe). He has also been Permanent Secretary General of the International Conferences of the Spanish Language, and Secretary General of the CILE in Puerto Rico (2016) and in Cordoba, Argentina (2019).

His areas of research and specialization focus on the acquisition and teaching of second and foreign languages, on the certification of foreign languages, on phonetics and on the varieties of the language. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Observatory of the Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures in the U.S. at Harvard University, and a member of the Advisory Committee of both Routlege and Geres.

Jerry W. Carlson is Chair of the Department of Media & Communication Arts at The City College CUNY. He is also a specialist in narrative theory, global independent film, and the cinemas of the Americas.  In addition, he is a member of the doctoral faculties of French, Film Studies and Comparative Literature and a Senior Fellow at the Bildner Center for Western Hemispheric Studies. He has lectured at Stanford, Columbia, Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV (Cuba), the University of Paris, and the University of Sao Paulo, among others.  


Moreover, he is an active producer, director, and writer with nine Emmy Awards. As a Senior Producer for City University Television (CUNY-TV), he created and produced the series CITY CINEMATHEQUE (which is about film history), CANAPE (which deals with French-American cultural relations), and NUEVA YORK (a Spanish language series about the Latino cultures of New York City).


As an independent producer, his recent work includes the Showtime Networks production DIRT, directed by Nancy Savoca, and LOOKING FOR PALLADIN, directed by Andrzej Krakowski. In 1998, he was inducted by France as a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques. He was educated at Williams College (B.A.) and the University of Chicago (A.M. & Ph.D.).

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Noelia Dutrey

Noelia Dutrey has a degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations. She has been an Argentine diplomat since 2006, when she joined the foreign service of her country.


She served twice in the National Office of Protocol and Ceremony of the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs: from 2008 to 2011 in the Department of Travels and Visits and from 2015 to 2019 as Chief of Protocol. She was in charge of numerous visits of foreign presidents to Argentina as well as many trips of the Argentine President to other countries. She has also participated in the organization of important international meetings, such as the G20 Heads of State Summit in Buenos Aires.


Her first assignment abroad was in UNESCO, Paris, from 2011 to 2015, where she was in charge of issues related to Culture and Natural Sciences at the Permanent Delegation of Argentina in that Organization. The Consulate General in New York is her second post abroad, where she arrived in September 2019. She currently works as Cultural Attaché.

Cynthia Benitez

Cynthia Benitez is film curator and scholar specializing in Native and indigenous film. She is currently the Film Programmer for Community and Public Programs of the Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian in New York City where she organizes hemispheric film showcases, international screenings and in-depth panel discussions. She has also been a panelist, moderator, selector and juror at international film festivals, including Skábmagovat Film Festival and Cine Las Americas Film Festival. For the past twelve years, Cynthia has worked as publicist for international film festivals and Native media organizations, including the American Indian Film Institute, Sundance Film Festival’s Native Forum and World Competition, and the Native American Film and Video Festival. She has also published several articles on indigenous artists and filmmakers. A graduate from Barry University, Cindy received her B.A. in Public Relations and completed her M.S. in Media Studies at CUNY Brooklyn College.

 Dee Dee Mozeleski

Dee Dee Mozeleski is the Director of Institutional Advancement for the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership and came to the School with 20 years of fundraising experience. She has managed fundraising campaigns for some of the largest nonprofits in New York City and around the country. A native San Diegan, she still considers anything below 75 degrees “chilly” but does manage to run at least three days a week, even in the middle of winter. In addition to her time spent at the School, she is currently working on a school building project in Adama, Ethiopia and enjoys writing for her blog and spending time with her daughter who recently transferred to the Colin Powell School.

Ron Kopp

Ron Kopp's film version of the Holocaust drama "The Soap Myth" (written by Jeff Cohen and directed for the stage by Arnold Mittelman) is currently being shown on PBS stations across the country. He is also the director of the documentary "I Will Refuse to Bubble." Both films are distributed by Digital Theatre. Ron has been a regularly featured commentator on movies for NPR and a columnist for For a number of years, he was the Film Program Director for the Paramount Center for the Arts, a landmarked movie palace in Peekskill, NY. Ron has been teaching Film Studies at the Center for Worker Education/City College since 1998, where he has developed more than a dozen distinct courses. He joined the Documentary Department of the New York Film Academy in 2010. He holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University.

Graciela Mochkofsky

Graciela Mochkofsky is the Director of the Spanish-language Journalism Program in the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. A native of Argentina, she has worked as a professional journalist in South America and the U.S. She was a political correspondent with La Nación in Argentina, has been a columnist and blogger for El País in Spain, and a contributor to publications in Latin America, Europe, and the U.S., including The California Sunday Magazine, The New Yorker online, and The Paris Review blog. She is the author of six nonfiction books in Spanish, two of them about the relationship between press and political power in her home country. Mochkofsky has served as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, a Cullman fellow at the New York Public Library, a Prins Foundation fellow at the Center for Jewish History, a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, and a visiting scholar at the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life at Columbia University. She has taught undergraduate courses in reporting and writing and investigative and literary journalism in Buenos Aires, and she has lectured at Princeton, the CUNY Graduate Center, NYU’s Institute for the Humanities, and many other universities. Mochkofsky has also served as a juror for the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation Journalism Prize, Latin America’s most important journalism award. She has an M.S. in Journalism from the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Kika Child

Kika Child is a Colombian actress who moved to NYC in the late 90’s. After having starred in a dozen of primetime TV shows and award-winning movies, including the Goya award winning film by Leonardo Favio ‘Gatica, el Mono’, ‘El Censor’ - alongside Ulises Dumont, and the Colombian film ‘Ilona arrives with the Rain’.


Devoted to work in the stage, Kika has been part of the Spanish Repertory Theater’s ensemble since 2008 with plays like ‘Dona Flor and her Two Husbands’. Most recently, Kika starred as Julia, in GALA Theatre’s 2021 production of Mario Vargas Llosa’s novel, where she earned raving reviews, in the first theater to open in the Eastern US region. 

Kika is very grateful to be a part of TAFFNY film festival, which she considers to be one of the most select festivals in NYC, masterfully curated by Diana Vargas and passionately directed by its founder, Juan Mercado.  



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