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From a trusted client: "Julio Ricardo Varela is a gifted leader. He has a very rare talent and skill to see talent in others and to bring out that talent and let others shine. He is true team builder with vision. I would highly recommend him."

My Accomplishments

  • Founded one of the world's most successful independent U.S. Latino media pages:
  • Currently the Digital Media Director for Maria Hinojosa's Peabody-winning media organization.
  • Co-hosted appearances on Al Jazeera America's "The Stream" and Al Jazeera English's "The Stream."
  • Deep expertise in digital media and community-generated news, as digital producer for Al Jazeera and digital lead for "America by the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa " on PBS.
  • Named one of the Top 40 Latinos in American Media for the second year in a row.
  • 1990 Harvard graduate, cum laude, Latin American History and Literature.
  • Nationally recognized expert and columnist on U.S. Latino issues.
  • Exceptional social media knowledge of Twitter (@julito77) and other outlets, particularly in LATAM.
  • Retained in 2009 by Univision to consolidate and expand its social media presence. Retained again in 2011 to increase digital awareness for its national education campaign.
  • Fluent Bilingual/Bicultural communicator (English/Spanish). Native of Puerto Rico.
  • Produced major campaigns for, now a part of FORTE, finalist for "America's Got Talent." 
  • Conceptualized and executed highly engaging social media campaigns for clients, achieving unprecedented levels of engagement on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.
  • 20+ years experience in educational development and advocacy for Latino students in U.S. public school systems.

A Visual Portfolio


Bachelor of Arts (cum laude)

Harvard University
Sep 1986Jun 1990

Graduated with top honors in the History and Literature of Latin America.

Work experience

Digital Media Director

Futuro Media Group
Oct 2014Present
  • Oversee all the digital content for NPR's Latino USA (link) and PBS' "America by the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa." (link)
  • Since January 2015, increased social and digital traffic by a monthly average of 80-100%.
  • Made several on-air NPR appearances (link).


Latino Rebels, LLC
Apr 2011Present

In this digital age, we all have learned to redefine ourselves. is part of my redefinition. I founded it as a blog, and then opened it up to about 20 of my closest social media friends. The result? One of the fastest-growing Latino independent media sites ever.

Digital Producer, The Stream

Al Jazeera America
Jul 2013Apr 2014
  • Made co-host appearances for primetime show (WATCH). Also substitute co-host for Al Jazeera English's "The Stream." (WATCH)
  • "Live-tweeted" every show and was virtual online host for show's digital community.
  • Wrote several news stories, including interview with Dolores Huerta and Edward Snowden's SXSW appearance. (Read all stories here.)
  • Edited hundreds of digital news pieces, curated thousands of tweets, oversaw community voice through Twitter, Facebook, and G+.
  • Part of senior editorial planning team.


NBC News (NBC Latino)
Oct 2012Dec 2013

Wrote weekly columns for NBC News. Several columns went viral, including the following pieces:

Editorial Director, Reading/Language Arts

Six Red Marbles
Nov 2011Sep 2012

Combined education skills with digital background to create outstanding products for our clients. Our work was collaborative and learner-centric.

  • Directed the successful development of a highly engaging early reading print/technology hybrid product greeted with much enthusiasm at 2012 IRA conference in Chicago.
  • Oversaw the Grades 3-8 TE development of a new-to-market Common Core offering.

Editorial Director, K-5 Reading and Pre-K

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Jun 2010May 2011

Led a group of talented and forward-thinking editors to develop market-leading and innovative products. Staff was based in Boston and in Orlando. 39 editors reported to me. Increased employee engagement and morale through personable and focused leadership.

  • Led a multi-level team of internal and external editors to successfully complete Common Core editions for 8 HMH legacy programs (Spanish and English) along with current Journeys offering for North Carolina and Open Territory.
  • Collaborated with company's Digital Content Development Group in Dublin to produce all digital offerings for current Reading products, both in English and Spanish.
  • Successful development of Splash into Pre-K/Un salto a Pre-K, a comprehensive early childhood program. Development time was just four months.

Independent Education Consultant

Sep 2011Oct 2011

Ran the network's "Edúcate, Es el momento" digital campaign to increase awareness of Latino academic achievement and attainability in the United States.


Jul 2009Jun 2010

A division of v5, LLC, Publish was a content hub based in Boston. It served the publishing, direct sales and Internet industries. We developed all our content in Latin America and worked completely via Skype, Woodwing, and InCopy/InDesign. Our biggest project was the successful completion of Grades 1–2 portions of Houghton Mifflin's Lenguaje, a K-5 Spanish Language Arts program for the Texas adoption.


    v5, LLC
    Apr 2008Jun 2010

    Formed to help support the career of Fernando Varela, a 2013 "America's Got Talent" finalist. We were a full-service social media agency geared to increase brand awareness in the U.S. Latino market. Named Best Agency Using Social Media by Latinos in Social Media, 2009.

      Editorial Director, English Development

      DoubleO Publishing Services
      Sep 2007Apr 2008

      Directed the development of all PreK-12 English language projects for a dynamic full-service house, producing content for major educational publishers.

      Vice President, Editorial Director, Associate Editorial Director, Executive Editor

      Houghton Mifflin Company
      Jun 2003Jul 2007

      While directing the Division's entire K-6 Bilingual product line, oversaw the development of several customizations of Houghton Mifflin Reading, including a $35 million Miami-Dade adoption and Denver Public Schools.

      Editorial leader for Houghton Mifflin Pre-K, the Division's inaugural early childhood program. The program added a substantial amount of revenue for the company's School Division.

      Editorial Director

      May 1998Feb 2003

      Directed the development of over 40 projects (over 300,000 pages) for a cadre of clients in the educational publishing world.

      Editor, Editorial Project Manager

      Houghton Mifflin
      May 1991May 1998

      Conducted 50+ sales presentations that led to key sales for the School Division, specifically in key urban districts (Detroit, Phoenix, New York, and Houston). Executed several products for the award-winning, innovative Invitations to Literacy/Invitaciones Reading program, including Intervention, Phonics, Grade 1, and Kindergarten materials.

      Contributing Reporter

      Boston Globe
      Jun 1989Sep 1989

      Wrote 60+ articles for one of the country's premier sports departments.


      TV & Radio
      Brings a fresh new voice to U.S. Latino issues, Latin American politics and general news items.
      Public Speaking
      Presented (in both English and Spanish) all over the United States and Puerto Rico. Part-time improviser and actor who engages audiences, entertains them, and most importantly, informs them.
      Written and filed 3,000+ posts, articles and opinion pieces.
      Social Media Expertise
      Since 2008, have been immersed in the nuances and power of social media. Considered one of the most influential Latino profiles today.
      Native Proficiency in English and Spanish
      Have conducted business and developed content in both native languages for 25 years.


      Ivan Sanchez, Author

      Julio's extensive knowledge of social media and his expertise in delivering intelligent content to the educated Latino makes him an asset to any company hoping to tap into the resources of the largest growing minority group in the United States.

      Yanitzia Canetti, President, Cambridge BrickHouse

      Julio is one of the most practical, direct and efficient executives I know.

      Tony Vargas, CTO, Latino Rebels

      Julio will take work along side those he supports with a tireless dedication to achieving top results for whoever is fortunate enough to have him on their team—advocating for them.

      Susan Blair, Writer

      Julio has a unique and wonderful ability to fly at 20,000 feet and see the big picture and then instantly—and effortlessly-- zoom down to the weeds and execute the smallest details. 

      Regina McCarthy, Consultant

       Julio is organized and forward-looking, and brings a an admirable work ethic and drive for efficiency to the tasks he takes on. 

      Jim Chapman, Owner, Chapman Publishing Services

      Julio reported to me for a number of years, most recently when I was the Editor in Chief for Reading and Language Arts at Houghton Mifflin Company. Julio is an exceptionally capable editorial leader with particular strengths in market-oriented product conceptualization, high-energy team and project leadership, and well-planned cost-effective product delivery.

      Michael Rogers, Digital Solutions Director, Victory Productions

      Julio's breadth of knowledge of the K-12 Reading Language Arts curriculum and keen insight into the education market have combined to make him an highly effective leader in the industry. The passion, vision and commitment he brings to educational publishing is evident from the exceptional quality of the products he has brought to market.