Ailsa Chang, 2013 i
Gabriella Demczuk/NPR
Ailsa Chang, 2013
Gabriella Demczuk/NPR

Ailsa Chang

Congressional Correspondent, Washington Desk

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.

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Presidential Campaign Slows Progress On Capitol Hill
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After Brief Lockdown At U.S. Capitol, Here's What We Know
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Sen. McConnell Obstructs Merrick Garland Nomination Vote
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Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland Meets With Top Democrats On The Hill
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Sen. Mitch McConnell Repeats Pledge To Block Obama Supreme Court Nominee
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Obama's Will To Fill Justice Seat Widens Rift With McConnell
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Ted Cruz on Capitol Hill in September 2013, the day he conducted a more than 21-hour-long speech against Obamacare on the Senate floor. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Ted Cruz And The Senate: Now We've Got Bad Blood
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Senate Republicans Refuse To Consider Obama Supreme Court Nominee
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (center), R-Ky., speaks to members of the media as fellow Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming (left) and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas (right) listen after the Republican weekly policy luncheon on Jan. 20. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Sanders Needed New Hampshire Victory To Prove His Campaign's Viability
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Final Votes Cast As Most Polls Begin To Close In New Hampshire
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Bernie Sanders Appears Poised To Defeat Hillary Clinton In New Hampshire
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Sanders Resonates With N.H. Voters. Is It Because He's From Vermont?
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Congress Moves To Tackle Heroin, Prescription Drug Epidemic
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