Sandra de Castro Buffington
Founding Director, Global Media for Social Impact; Story Whisperer
Sandra de Castro Buffington is a global leader in entertainment for social change. As the Founding Director of UCLA’s Global Media Center for Social Impact (GMI) and Principal Investigator of the Hollywood & Youth Sexuality, Reproductive Health and Rights project, Sandra works extensively with Hollywood and other entertainment capitals to inspire and develop storylines that have profound impact on knowledge and behavior. Her research measures the impact of storytelling on viewers and maps the pro-social content on top TV shows. For twenty years, Buffington’s pioneering work focused on women’s sexual and reproductive health in developing countries. Buffington’s vasectomy campaign won seven international advertising awards, including a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Film Festival and Gold Medal at the London Advertising Awards. For her work, Sandra was named one of the “Nation’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics” by PODER magazine in 2012, “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” by the World Film Institute in 2014, and “Honorary Maverick” by the Female Eye Film Festival in 2015. As former director of Hollywood, Health & Society, her groundbreaking work resulted in 565 storylines that aired on 91 shows in the span of three years.