Meet the Team

Work with Us

Roberta Braga

Founder and Executive Director, Digital Democracy Institute of the Americas (DDIA)

Roberta Braga is the Founder and Executive Director of the Digital Democracy Institute of the Americas. Previously, she was Director of Counter-Disinformation Strategies at Equis Institute, Deputy Director for Programs and Outreach at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, and Manager for Global Content and Campaigns at the law firm Baker McKenzie. Roberta was named as one of 50 “Top Women in Cybersecurity Americas” by Latinas in Cyber and WOMCY in 2023. She was a Penn Kemble Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy from 2021 to 2022, and a Cyber Fellow with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in the same year.

Roberta has been published in major media outlets and provides English-, Spanish-, and Portuguese-language commentary on political and social issues in the U.S. and Latin America, including for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Financial Times, Axios, Brazil’s O Globo and Folha de S.Paulo, among others. Originally from Brazil, Roberta is a native Portuguese- and English-speaker, and fluent in Spanish.


Jacobo Licona

Research Consultant, Digital Democracy Institute of the Americas (DDIA)

Jacobo Licona is a research consultant with a strong focus on disinformation research. From 2020 to 2023, he served as Equis' Disinformation Research Lead, where he played a pivotal role in understanding the impact of disinformation on the Latino community in the United States.

Through this work, he has become a leading voice in the field. He has been quoted by and appeared in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, Politico, MIT Technology Review, and The Los Angeles Times, among others. In addition to his role in disinformation research, Jacobo has provided research and communications support to presidential campaigns, national campaign committees, and various Latino organizations.

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Cristina Tardáguila

Research Consultant, Digital Democracy Institute of the Americas (DDIA)

Cristina Tardáguila is a former senior program director at the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the founder of Agência Lupa (the largest fact-checking initiative in Brazil). A journalist by trade, Cristina has worked as a reporter and editor for various large media outlets in Brazil, including O Globo, Folha de S.Paulo, and piauí Magazine. Between 2019 and 2021, Cristina was the associate director of the International Fact-Checking Network and coordinated the #CoronaVirusFacts alliance, the largest collaborative fact-checking project in the world.

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Eugene Kondratov

Research Consultant, Digital Democracy Institute of the Americas (DDIA)

Eugene Kondratov is a PhD Candidate in Politics, Policies, and International Relations from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, where he researches how Russian hybrid interference impacts Western democracies. He previously worked as professor of international relations and political science, from 2015 to 2021, at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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Yamil Velez

Research Consultant, Digital Democracy Institute of the Americas (DDIA)

Yamil Velez is an assistant professor of Political Science at Columbia University. His research explores different facets of the immigrant experience, with a specific focus on how geography and information environments shape political incorporation and engagement. More broadly, Yamil is interested in how beliefs and attitudes change, leveraging new methodological approaches to augment our understanding of public opinion and political psychology.

Board of Directors


Stephanie Valencia

Co-Founder and President, Equis Research

Stephanie Valencia is a national leader and innovator at the nexus of politics, technology, and leadership development. She is the Co-Founder of Equis, a set of organizations working to create a better understanding of Latino voters and investing in new approaches to reach and engage them while building the infrastructure and leadership bench to advance this important work. She has spent her career working in Congress, the White House, Google, and advised entrepreneurs like Reid Hoffman and Penny Pritzker. She serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood for America Action, Community Change Action, and is a founding member of Poderistas, with Eva Longoria & America Ferrera.

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Ricardo Zúñiga

Founding Partner, Dinámica Americas

Ricardo Zúñiga is a Founding Partner of Dinámica Americas. As a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, he advised the highest levels of the U.S. government on how to turn policy ideas into concrete actions. He served in the Department of State for 30 years and operated in multiple roles, including as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle, and U.S. Consul General in São Paulo, Brazil from 2015 to 2018, where he focused on advancing U.S. commercial relations with Brazil. Zúñiga was detailed by the State Department to serve as President Obama’s principal advisor for the Americas from 2012 to 2015, during which time he worked closely with then-Vice President Biden and advised Cabinet members and other senior leaders on events in the Americas. 

He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Latin America Program. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and served diplomatic tours in Mexico, Portugal, Cuba, Spain, and twice in Brazil.


Olga Belogolova

Director, Emerging Technologies Initiative, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University

Olga is the Director of the Emerging Technologies Initiative at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She is also a professor at the Alperovitch Institute for Cybersecurity Studies at SAIS, where she teaches a course on disinformation and influence in the digital age.

At Facebook/Meta, Olga led policy for countering influence operations, leading the execution and development of policies on coordinated inauthentic behavior, state media capture, and hack-and-leaks within the Trust and Safety team. Prior to that, she led threat intelligence work on Russia and Eastern Europe at Facebook, identifying, tracking, and disrupting coordinated IO campaigns, and in particular, the Internet Research Agency investigations between 2017-2019. Olga previously worked as a journalist and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, National Journal, Inside Defense, and The Globe and Mail, among others. She is a fellow with the Truman National Security Project and serves on the review board for CYBERWARCON.