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.

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5:32am

Thu May 21, 2015
Politics

Sen. Rand Paul Ends 'Filibuster' Over NSA Surveillance Program

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:08 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

On the Senate floor yesterday, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul started talking. He spoke for 10 hours about his opposition to NSA surveillance of Americans' phone records.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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4:08am

Tue May 19, 2015
Politics

Lawmakers Divided Over McConnell's Desire To Extend Surveillance Plan

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 6:42 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Congress is deciding the conditions under which the National Security Agency can monitor your phone records.

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7:47am

Thu May 14, 2015
It's All Politics

A Trade Deal Read In Secret By Only A Few (Or Maybe None)

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 1:16 pm

To study the draft Trans-Pacific Partnership language, senators have to go to the basement of the Capitol and enter a secured, soundproof room and surrender their mobile devices.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

This post was updated at 1 p.m. ET

Senate leaders were all smiles Wednesday after they broke a 24-hour impasse and announced they had reached a deal on how to move forward on a fast-track trade negotiating bill. That legislation would give the president expedited authority to enter into a trade agreement with Pacific Rim countries, otherwise known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

But how senators will vote on this bill depends largely on how they feel about TPP. And there's one problem.

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5:43am

Wed May 13, 2015
Politics

Vote On Obama's Fast-Track Trade Bill Blocked By Senate Democrats

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 1:43 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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3:34pm

Tue May 12, 2015
Politics

Senators Deny Obama Authority To Expedite Pacific Trade Deal

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 6:22 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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