Ailsa Chang

Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who covers Congress for NPR. She landed in public radio after spending six years as a lawyer.

Since joining NPR in 2012, Chang has covered battles over immigration, the healthcare law, gun control and White House appointments. She crisscrossed the country in the months before the Republican takeover of the Senate, bringing stories about Washington from the Deep South, Southwest and New England.

Chang started out as a radio reporter in 2009, and has since earned a string of national awards for her work. In 2012, she was honored with the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for her investigation on the New York City Police Department's "stop-and-frisk" policy and allegations of unlawful marijuana arrests by officers. The series also earned honors from Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists.

She was also the recipient of the Daniel Schorr Journalism Award, a National Headliner Award, and an honor from Investigative Reporters and Editors for her investigation on how Detroit's broken public defender system leaves lawyers with insufficient resources to effectively represent their clients.

In 2011, the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association named Chang as the winner of the Art Athens Award for General Excellence in Individual Reporting for radio.

The former lawyer served as a law clerk to Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco.

Chang graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University where she received her bachelor's degree.

She earned her law degree with distinction from Stanford Law School, where she won the Irving Hellman, Jr. Special Award for the best piece written by a student in the Stanford Law Review in 2001.

Chang was also a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University, where she received a master's degree in media law. And she has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Prior to coming to NPR, Chang was an investigative reporter at NPR member station WNYC from 2009 to 2012 in New York City, focusing on criminal justice and legal affairs. She was a Kroc fellow at NPR from 2008 to 2009, as well as a reporter and producer for NPR member station KQED in San Francisco.

Chang grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: I'm Renee Montagne in Washington, D.C., where President Obama's preparing to announce his pick to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia. That formal nomination could come as early as this week. And Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is promising to sit on it. He argues that the choice should be left to the next president. The showdown is the latest twist in a long...

Even though the thought of Donald Trump at the top of the ticket is making a lot of Republicans in Congress queasy, they're not exactly flocking to the guy in second place to save them — Ted Cruz. Cruz did not have a single endorsement from any of his Senate colleagues, until this week when Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah committed his support. Marco Rubio, on the other hand, has landed 14 Senate endorsements. That's because the bad blood between Cruz and his colleagues runs so deep. It's...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Now President Obama faces resistance in Congress to his plan to close Guantanamo, and he also faces resistance to a Supreme Court choice. Any nominee would be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and every member of that committee signed a letter pledging to hold no hearings whatsoever on any nominee no matter who the president might name. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports. AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Right...

When Congress returns from recess next week, it will be the first time since Justice Antonin Scalia's death for Senate Republicans to hash out face-to-face exactly what they're going to do about the newest Supreme Court vacancy. And rumblings from Republican senators dispersed across the country right now suggest next week could be the beginning of a heated family conversation. To make it very clear, Mitch McConnell — as the chamber's majority leader — will get the last word on whether any...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID GREENE, HOST: And now to the candidate you heard Donald Trump congratulate right there - Bernie Sanders. He had a huge win over Hillary Clinton yesterday, as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports. It was a victory Sanders needed to prove the viability of his campaign. AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: This time, there was no talk of virtual ties or coin flips. This was a drubbing. The race was called just minutes after all the polls had closed. ...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: All right, it will be a major surprise if Bernie Sanders does not win today's New Hampshire primary. New Hampshire, we should say, has produced its share of surprises, but Sanders is polling far ahead of Hillary Clinton in a state that was once seen as Clinton country. The Clinton campaign says this is just because Sanders is from next door in Vermont. But supporters say they are not just backing...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: The abuse of heroin and prescription drugs is an issue that's not only getting the attention of politicians who are campaigning. It's also led to a rare moment of bipartisan cohesion in Congress. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee has zeroed in on how lawmakers might be able to respond. AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: There are few problems Congress has to deal with that cut so...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID GREENE, HOST: At long last, President Obama and congressional leaders have found something on which they agree. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: It's that they will not accomplish that much together this year. In his final State of the Union speech, the president left out many big proposals. Instead, he followed the approach we heard about yesterday from his former speechwriter. GREENE: He told a story. He said he would position this...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: With a vote this afternoon, Congress is sending a bill to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood to the president's desk. The House has just passed the measure. The Senate has already passed a version. In doing so, many Republican lawmakers are making good on their campaign promises. And yet, no one expects the bill to become law. Joining us to talk about this is NPR's Congressional...

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