Elisa Lees Muñoz

Executive Director


Elisa Lees Muñoz is the Executive Director of the International Women’s Media Foundation, a role she has held since 2013. Elisa leads the organization to achieve its mission to support women journalists and develop their careers by providing training, tools and assistance. She is charged with growing the IWMF by expanding its programs into new geographies; introducing new initiatives; partnering with peer organizations; securing diverse organizational funding; and, driving communications and outreach to core constituents.

Elisa’s nearly two decades at the IWMF have made her a leading expert on the intersections between gender equity and press freedom. She is a relentless advocate for women journalists, striving to prioritize their voices in all press freedom conversations. Elisa knows progress stands still when gender diverse perspectives are excluded – and that often it takes a woman-led, woman-focused organization to drive the industry forward.

Elisa currently oversees a team of more than 15 individuals dedicated to supporting gender diverse journalists. This growing capacity enables the IWMF to respond with immediacy to the issues women and nonbinary journalists face in today’s world, meeting the moment with adaptability and urgency. Elisa also recognizes that gender equity cannot be achieved in a vacuum, reinforcing the IWMF’s commitment to uplifting journalists at all intersections of their identities. 

Elisa has been a human rights activist since graduating from the University of Maryland with an MA degree in International Relations. With more than 15 years of nonprofit management experience, she is an expert in philanthropy, coalition building, fundraising and organizational development. Off the clock, her passions include spending time with her family, biking DC’s many trails, and all things España, her country of origin. 

“It is a privilege to lead an organization as unique as the IWMF. Supported by our Board; leaders in journalism, media and communications; we have the opportunity to improve the skills, security and lives of women journalists around the world. And, by doing so, enable their voices and those of whom they cover to be heard.”