Membership Program Director, National Federation of Community Broadcasters
Ernesto Aguilar discovered community radio on accident as a teenager. That brush with media informed a career in journalism rooted in creating opportunities for all Americans. As a journalist, author, podcaster, public speaker, radio host and web developer, Aguilar’s work has focused on democracy, inclusion and engagement. Before joining NFCB, Aguilar served radio station KPFT as program director for more than 11 years, counting youth radio, early adoption of social media, an HD Radio parallel programming grid compliment to a renowned FM schedule, and a complete website relaunch among his credits. Before that, he served as KPFT’s co-director of its news department, moving the newscast to an award-winning daily half-hour. Aguilar now manages member station relations for NFCB, which he joined in 2016. In the role, he helps stations bring out the best in local fundraising, programming and operations, doing everything from offering compliance guidance to assisting with on-air pledge drives. From the transformative experience with community radio as a youth to being recognized in 2006 by BravoHouston as one of Houston’s Latino cultural leaders to watch to his work today, Aguilar’s endeavors are devoted to the important role that media plays in changing lives and the hope it offers communities of color.
In addition to his community radio work with NFCB, he writes a column for Radio World and volunteers as a DJ for KBLT-LP.
Aguilar holds a degree in journalism, with minors in sociology and Women’s Studies, as well as a Management and Leadership Certification from the University of Houston.