The daughter of Senator Robert Menendez, who is facing indictment on federal corruption charges, is a popular television news host and commentator who has been called “a voice for the millennials ” by the Washington Post. Alicia Menendez, 31, made frequent guest appearances on national news networks before landing a show of her own.
Here’s what you need to know about Alicia Menendez:
1. She Is the Host of Fusion’s ‘Alicia Menendez Tonight’
Menendez became the host of her own show on Fusion, a fledgling network targeted to a young audience, in 2013.
According to the show’s website:
Alicia Menendez takes on the big three—sex, money and power—with thoughtful commentary, intimate interviews, and conversations with young voices across the country.
Her prominent interviewees include Chelsea Clinton, Janet Mock, Taylor Swift and Malala Yousafzai. The show expanded to an hour in 2015, according to the network.
“Alicia is already redefining what it means to anchor a show that covers the stories that matter to her generation — a generation that is incredibly diverse, came of age in a digital era, and values inclusivity. Confident, optimistic, smart and funny, Alicia has a unique ability to cut through the clutter,” Fusion CEO Isaac Lee said in an email to staff posted on the network’s website.
Prior to working for Fusion, Menendez was a guest on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, and later hosted a show on HuffPost Live.
2. She Has Been a Prominent Voice for Latinos and Women
Menendez has focused on issues facing women and Latinos. The Harvard graduate co-founded the news blog DailyGrito.com, a which offered a Latino take and politics and media.
She also started Define American in 2011, a ” media and culture campaign using the power of story to transcend politics and shift conversation around immigration, identity, and citizenship in America,” according to its website.
One of her entry points to guest appearances on cable news came when President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Menendez told Latina Magazine:
The meta narrative against Sotomayor — that she wasn’t smart enough, that she wasn’t deserving — was so familiar to so many Latinas. If she deserves to be in the highest court in the land then all Latinas belong as well.
3. She Is Married to Former Obama Staffer Carlos Odio
Menendez married Carlos Odio, 32, in February in a Florida wedding profiled by the New York Times.
Odio worked at the White House’s Office of Political Affairs as deputy associate director from 2009 to 2011 after working on Obama’s 2008 campaign as deputy Latino vote director. He is now the managing director for Florida Alliance, a non-profit.
4. She Worked as a Strategist for Her Father’s Campaign
Menendez worked on her father’s 2006 campaign, according to Latino Magazine.
5. She Shares Her Name With Her Stepmother
Her father and mother, Jane Jacobson, were divorced in 2005. He re-married in 2013 to Alicia Mucci, according to NJ.com.