Sandra Ordonez


Sandra Ordonez has over 20+ years of experience working at the intersection of technology, community engagement, and human rights. She was one of the first Latinas to occupy leadership positions in the open source community, notably having served as the first Director of Communications for the Wikimedia Foundation. As a native New Yorker and daughter of immigrants, throughout her career she has worked towards elevating the voices of marginalized communities. This experience led her to envision and create the very popular Internet Freedom Festival, of which she currently serves as director.

Ordonez is a sought after expert in community building, and is often tapped to give workshops for industry leaders looking to incorporate best-in-breed practices in diversity and inclusion; innovation and creativity; community engagement; and event design and facilitation. ( She is a recipient of the prestigious Hispanic Leadership Award by Fundacion Carolina, and currently serves on the board of the Media Innovation Collaboratory, that researches, creates and tests ideas for innovative communication, media and technology products and business startups. She is a graduate of American University with a double degree in International Relations and Public Relations.



What is the most important question (s) you need to know the answer to at this moment in time to empower you and our communities to reach a future you would be excited to live in?

Who is going to be stepping up to the plate to fund and support the digital rights community. Surveillance and censorship are literally the largest threats for activists and journalists, and leaders and funders are still acting like it 1985.

What exactly do you do and why?

I community manage and help grow and change the culture of the digital rights/internet freedom community, because I’m good at it. I do this because my mother was a Cuban refugee, and as a native New Yorker who grew up in the city during the 70s/80s/90s, nothing is more important to me than 1) equity, 2) freedom of expression, and 3) societies that support creativity, collaboration and transparency.

What is your unique perspective or superpower?

I really know how to build human networks, and change/shift culture when given the chance. I also seem to be good at taking care of people, connecting people to each other, and establishing authentic, humane relationships with people that removes frivolities.