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Journalist and Editorial Leader

Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela is a seasoned, award-winning journalist and senior leader.

As President of Pulitzer-winning Futuro Media, he was responsible for the business/operations side of the organization and played a key leadership role in overseeing the company’s editorial vision. Previously, he was the company’s Editorial Director, leading the teams at  Latino USA, Latino Rebels, the In The Thick political podcast, and the Community Podcast Lab.

As Vice President of New Business Development for Futuro Studios, he also headed up the division’s new business initiatives, which have received industry accolades and have positioned Futuro as a major player in the premium audio space.

Currently, he is an MSNBC Opinion Columnist.​

In 2011, Varela founded Latino Rebels, one of the top U.S. Latino digital media sites in the world. In 2018, Latino Rebels officially joined Futuro Media. He also co-hosted In The Thick.  He was a frequent contributor to Latino USA, and as Digital Director for Futuro from 2015 to 2020, Julio expanded the show’s digital footprint, overseeing historic gains in online and social audiences.

Before then, Julio was Digital Producer for Al Jazeera America’s “The Stream,” and his work has been featured in many global outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Guardian, ESPN, NBC News, Quartz, Le Monde, WGBH, WNYC, Face the Nation, Fusion, Univision and Telemundo. He has made numerous national TV appearances.

In 2015, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists honored Varela with its inaugural DALE Award, “given to an individual or company that steps up and goes above and beyond to ensure Latinos are fairly and accurately represented.”

He was also a contributing reporter at The Boston Globe and a top publishing executive. Varela graduated cum laude from Harvard College.

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