Maria Salazar Ferro became director of the Committee to Protect Journalism’s (CPJ) Emergencies Department in October 2016. She oversees CPJ’s assistance and safety work worldwide.
In 2018, she was elected president of the board of the ACOS (A Culture of Safety) Alliance, a coalition formed in 2015 that improves protections for freelance journalists. Salazar Ferro joined CPJ in 2005, and has served as coordinator for the Journalist Assistance Program and the Global Campaign Against Impunity, and as senior research associate for the Americas program.
Salazar Ferro has spearheaded international coalitions to support journalists in distress in East Africa, and in Syria. She has written about exiled, missing, and murdered journalists. She has represented CPJ on missions to Mexico, Kenya, Turkey, and the Philippines, among others, and served on the IFEX (formerly International Freedom of Expression Exchange) counsel from 2011 to 2013.
Prior to joining CPJ, Salazar Ferro worked as a researcher for the United Nations Fund for Population Aid, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and as an associate reporter for Inter-Press Services in New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from Los Andes University in Bogotá. She is fluent in French and Spanish.