Ailsa Chang

Ailsa Chang is a Congressional reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.

Since joining NPR in September 2012, Chang has covered the first major gun control legislation to reach Capitol Hill in two decades, recovery efforts after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy and a multitude of law enforcement issues, including reforms by the overstretched and underfunded police department in Camden, NJ.

Chang spent six years as a lawyer before becoming a journalist. Prior to coming to NPR, Chang was an investigative reporter at NPR member station WNYC from 2009 to 2012 in New York City where she covered criminal justice and other legal issues.

Chang has received numerous national awards for her investigative reporting. In 2012, she was honored with the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for her two-part investigative series on the New York City Police Department's "stop-and-frisk" policy and allegations of unlawful marijuana arrests by officers. The reports 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.

Chang graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University where she received her bachelor's degree. She earned a law degree with distinction from Stanford Law School and has two masters degrees, one in media law from Oxford University where she was a Fulbright Scholar and one in journalism from Columbia University.

She also served as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in the chambers of Judge John T. Noonan, Jr.

Chang was a Kroc fellow at NPR from 2008 to 2009. She has also been 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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5:26pm

Thu August 21, 2014
Politics

Senate Control May Swing On North Carolina's Unpopularity Contest

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 6:17 pm

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., takes questions from the media in April during an appearance in Durham, N.C. Hagan has tried for her first 5 1/2 years in the U.S. Senate to persuade North Carolina voters that being in the middle of the road is a good thing.
Gerry Broome ASSOCIATED PRESS

North Carolina is one of the half-dozen states that could cost the Democrats their majority in the Senate this November, and both contenders in the race are hoping to capitalize on a backlash.

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3:02pm

Wed July 23, 2014
Politics

To Cope With Child Immigrants, Competing Plans Emerge From Congress

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:36 pm

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, with incoming Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., talks with reporters on Wednesday about House Republican plans to deal with the border crisis.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Divergent plans are now emerging from the House and Senate on how best to deal with the influx of unaccompanied children from Central America across the border.

Though both would offer the president less money than he asked for to deal with the crisis, a major battle has developed over whether to amend a 2008 law that makes it harder to speedily deport the children.

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3:01am

Thu July 10, 2014
Politics

Could A Socialist Senator Become A National Brand?

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 9:30 am

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont speaks during a committee hearing on veterans' health care. Sanders, an Independent, is a possible 2016 presidential candidate.
Cliff Owen AP

As members of Congress continue hammering out a bill to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs' beleaguered health care system, attention has focused on one man leading the charge: Bernie Sanders, Independent senator from Vermont and a self-described socialist.

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3:12am

Thu June 12, 2014
Politics

Hagel Defends Bergdahl Exchange Before House Panel

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 7:40 am

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel explained why the Obama administration agreed to swap five top Taliban leaders for the release of an Army enlisted man, who willingly left his post in Afghanistan.

2:16pm

Thu June 5, 2014
Politics

Outraged Senators Reach Across Aisle For Deal On VA Wait Times

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Some U.S. senators have crafted a bipartisan response to the crisis at the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned last week, amid controversy over treatment delays at veterans' hospitals. Now, a Senate plan calls for construction of new medical centers for veterans. It would also allow quicker dismissal of high-level employees at the VA.

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