Frances Robles is an award-winning journalist for the New York Times who has covered South Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America for two decades. In 2013,  she spent several months covering police misconduct and wrongful convictions before heading to Florida to be a national and foreign correspondent.

Her investigation into the shoddy detective work of a Brooklyn homicide detective led four murder convictions to be overturned and won a 2014 George Polk award. Her coverage of the 2014 border crisis changed the national conversation of the critical topic. She covered the crisis in Ferguson, the Ebola outbreak in Dallas and historic policy changes in Cuba.

She previously worked at at the Miami Herald, where her coverage ranged from Hugo Chavez's cancer, baseball in Santo Domingo to the plight of critically ill children in quake-ravaged Haiti. She's covered government collapses in four countries, a civil war and specializes in social justice issues. Robles spent six years covering Cuba, including Fidel Castro's resignation and the government's transition to his brother, Raúl.

Prior to becoming the Miami Herald's lead reporter on the Trayvon Martin case, she was based in both Nicaragua and Bogotá, Colombia. Her first job was covering suburban schools for the Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Robles has been a member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams and was a finalist for two more. A native New Yorker who graduated from NYU, she was a 2004-2005 John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University.

Work experience

Work experience
Jan 2013 - Present


New York Times

Cover Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America for the national and foreign desks.

Conducted an investigation into the shoddy detective work of a Brooklyn homicide detective, which led five murder convictions to be overturned and won a 2014 George Polk award. Covered the 2014 border crisis, the crisis in Ferguson, the Ebola outbreak in Dallas and historic policy changes in Cuba.  Specialized in investigative reports about the intersection of politics and money.

Aug 1993 - Present


Miami Herald

July 2005 – present: Enterprise writer:

  • Delivered multi-platform coverage of South Florida and the Caribbean, filing print, web, radio and video reports. Was a principal reporter in the coverage of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, serving as the paper’s team leader in Port-au-Prince, responsible for social media filing, multiple daily reports, logistics and communications with the main office under challenging conditions.Provided regular live updates to MSNBC and NPR. Provided extensive coverage of the military-backed coup in Honduras in 2009, including exclusive interviews with the ousted president and the military brass that toppled him.
  • 2005 – 2011: Cuba reporter: Followed political, economic and social trends on the last communist nation in the hemisphere. Filed in-depth reports about the Cuban military, Raúl Castro, life on the island and the communist party. Directed the Miami Herald’s team coverage of Fidel Castro’s resignation and the subsequent change of power, including developing master coverage plan.
  • Assigned and produced explanatory slideshows, interactive time lines and videos. Filed instant web reports and blogged regularly on Cuban affairs. Produced and shot videos using Final Cut Pro. Record audio content for multimedia use, including narrated slideshows on Soundslides and full radio spots broadcast on WLRN, the local NPR affiliate.
  • Represent the newspaper in “Why We Do What We Do” community outreach program. Speak regularly at university conferences, including City University of New York, the University of Miami, Miami-Dade College, Stanford University and Columbia University. Visit local high schools twice a month as an “ambassador” of the Miami Herald in two teen mentor programs.
  • March 2002 –Aug. 2004: Bogotá Bureau Chief:Correspondent in charge of coverage of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Panama. Covered a civil war in Colombia, investigating paramilitary infiltration in government. Covered a military coup and a two-month general strike in Venezuela.
  • January 2001 – March 2002: Managua Bureau Chief:Based in Nicaragua, was responsible for coverage of the seven Central American countries. Covered presidential elections in Nicaragua and Honduras, explored criminal justice in Guatemala and Honduras, where a social cleansing campaign cost hundreds of teenagers’ lives. Supervised three staff members and assigned and edited work of freelance reporters in five countries.
  • October 1999 – January 2001: Courts Reporter: Covered Florida’s largest criminal court district, specializing on enterprise stories. Covered death penalty cases including serial killers and several child-death cases. Dispatched to cover the Elián González custody case in Cuba and Washington, winning journalism’s top prize for breaking news.
  • January1996 – October 1999: Police Reporter: Daytime crime reporter for the city desk, writing breaking news and criminal justice trend reports on homicide, narcotics and police misconduct.Investigated a team of police officers who routinely framed suspects, leading to federal convictions.
  • August 1993 - January 1996: Higher Education Reporter:Wrote trends and news for eight universities.
    Jun 1990 - Jul 1993

    Staff Writer

    The Plain Dealer

    Covered urban issues, city hall and 14 school districts for the Lorain County news bureau. 


    Stanford University Knight Fellowships, program committee member

    Kiplinger Fellow, Ohio State University, 2013

    National Association of Hispanic Journalists: convention programming chair, 2011 and 2009,

    South Florida Chapter Social Media Director (2012), VP of Print,  (2011) Board of Directors, (1997 – 2001;)

    Spanish embassy Young Hispanic Leaders fellow, 2007

    Japan Foreign Press Association: 2006 fellow

    Coral Gables High School newspaper: mentor/journalism advisor: 2008-09


    2014 George Polk award for justice reporting.

    2011 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news, finalist. (lead member of Haiti reporting team)

    2007 Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis on Foreign Affairs:

    2003 InterAmerican Press Association News Coverage award (for Colombia coverage)

    2001 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news: team coverage of the raid to retrieve Elián González

    1999 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting: team member that uncovered absentee voter fraud

    1999 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news: finalist for coverage of faulty wiring which electrocuted a boy

    1999 Harvard University Goldsmith Award for investigative reporting: co-winner


    Sep 2004 - Jul 2005

    John S. Knight Fellow

    Stanford University
    1986 - 1990

    Bachelor of Arts

    New York University



    Fluent in Spanish