Sandhya Dirks joins the NPR National Desk's Race and Identity team : NPR Extra Sandhya has spent more than a decade working with Member stations most recently KQED, where she covered race and equity creatively and comprehensively, across formats.

Sandhya Dirks joins the NPR National Desk's Race and Identity team

Julie Caine/NPR
Sandhya Elina Wood Dirks
Julie Caine/NPR

In a note to newsroom staff Chief National Editor Vickie Walton-James and Supervising Editor of Race & Identity Marcia Davis announced the following update:

Colleagues:

We're excited to announce that Sandhya Dirks will join NPR as the newest member of the National Desk's Race and Identity team. Sandhya has deep experience in public radio, spending more than a decade working with Member stations and in recent years, collaborating on projects with NPR. Sandhya has spent the last six years with KQED, where she has covered race and equity creatively and comprehensively, across formats. She's focused on policing, housing and demographic trends, among other topics. Sandhya's stories were part of KQED's "So Well Spoken" project, which won an RTDNA award honoring coverage of diversity.

Sandhya was a reporter and producer of the On Our Watch podcast, a collaboration between NPR and KQED exploring police discipline. She edited for Truth Be Told hosted by Tonya Mosley, an advice show for and by people of color. And she created and co-hosted American Suburb, a podcast that examined the racial transformation of the Bay Area city of Antioch.

Sandhya has also reported and produced for KALW Public Radio, in San Francisco, where she produced stories for the station's magazine, Crosscurrents, and guest-hosted its call-in show, Your Call.

At Member Station KPBS in San Diego, Sandhya's beats included policing and she was part of a reporting team that broke the story of sexual harassment allegations against the mayor, leading to his resignation. She covered the story as it evolved for NPR.

During a stint in the Midwest, Sandhya worked for Iowa Public Radio, where she covered beats including the statehouse; diversity and immigration; and mental health issues. She covered the 2012 presidential election for the station and for the network.

Sandhya earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Mills College and has a Master of Science in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in Oakland, where she'll be based for NPR starting early next year.

Please join us in welcoming her to the staff.