CEO of Rappler, Journalist, Author, Time’s Person of the Year 2018
Maria Ressa is the co-founder, CEO, and executive editor of Rappler.com, an online news organization in the Philippines. Maria, one of TIME’s Person of the Year for 2018 and TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in 2019, has been honoured around the world for her courageous and bold work in fighting disinformation, “fake news”, and attempts to silence the free press.
Maria advises organizations and corporations on corporate governance, values, and strategy. Her experience as a journalist and an entrepreneur in the digital world makes her a sought-after keynote speaker and panellist.
A journalist for over 30 years, Ressa was CNN’s bureau chief in Manila, before working as CNN’s lead investigative reporter focusing on terrorism in Jakarta. In 2012, she co-founded Rappler, an online news platform with an ethos similar to a tech start-up, starting with a small team of 12 young reporters and developers. Through the power of social media, Rappler has grown into the fourth-largest news website in the Philippines with over 100 journalists. Maria has been arrested on 8 charges related to exposing the Duterte government’s corrupt practices and was convicted of cyber-libel in June. She is out on bail pending her appeal but true to form, Ressa vows to keep fighting.
More recently, Maria is a founder of The Real Facebook Oversight Board – composed of 25 academics, journalists and activists that will rival the social media platform’s own board.
Maria authored Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda’s Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia and From Bin Laden to Facebook.
Maria was featured in the 2020 documentary “A Thousand Cuts,” which profiles her fearless reporting on the abuses of Duterte’s presidency, while also illustrating social media’s capacity to deceive and entrench political power.
Please email us to receive her complete Biography.
“We’ve never experienced something more meaningful, raw, thought-provoking than the session with Maria. She is a very rare combination of grit, passion, purpose, charm, and conviction. She is… not only a delight to speak to, but expects to be challenged in a conversation.”
Lou DelaPena CEO, (Publicis Communications (Virtual))
“Maria’s interview was my favorite during the festival. We have received great feedback about it. She gave us a good range of both very specific examples when answering questions, and context by connecting those to the bigger, global picture– esp on freedom of the press as it relates to our predominantly American audience.”
Katie Cassetta, PM (Aspen Ideas Festival (Virtual)