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Aspen Public Radio: An Evening with NPR's Ailsa Chang

(Photo by Kelsey Brunner)
Kelsey Brunner
Aspen Public Radio
NPR's Ailsa Chang with Aspen Public Radio's Breeze Richardson on stage at the Wheeler Opera House

Aspen Public Radio and the historic Wheeler Opera House partnered to host An Evening with Ailsa Chang on Thursday, February 2.

This radio-rich exploration of Chang’s experience as a national co-host of NPR’s All Things Considered and her fifteen-year career as a public media journalist, after leaving a prestigious law career. Chang was joined on stage by Aspen Public Radio Executive Director, Breeze Richardson, to discuss making big career changes, representation in media, the impact of investigative journalism, and more.

Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who hosts All Things Considered along with Mary Louise Kelly, Ari Shapiro and Juana Summers.

Chang is a former Planet Money correspondent, where she covered the underground asylum industry in the largest Chinatown in America, privacy rights in the cell phone age, the government's doomed fight to stop racist trademarks, and the money laundering case federal agents built against one of President Trump's top campaign advisers.

Previously, she was a congressional correspondent with NPR's Washington Desk, where she covered battles over healthcare, immigration, gun control, executive branch appointments, and the federal budget.

Chang first joined NPR in 2008 as a Kroc fellow in Washington D.C., where she wrote an investigative report into the public defender system of Detroit. The piece, which aired on NPR in 2009, was awarded the 2010 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize –awarded to a rising public media journalist 35 years of age or younger.

She 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 into 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.

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. In 2015, she won a National Journalism Award from the Asian American Journalists Association for her coverage of Capitol Hill.

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. And before that, 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.

When practicing law, Chang 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.

She 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. She also has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.


This event was made possible by the generosity of lead sponsor Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel, a local investment advisor and financial planning firm. Additional support comes from Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty, an independently owned real estate firm consisting of over 200 associates with the highest standards of client service.

Marble Distilling Co. supported this special event and provided sustainable spirits and cocktails inspired by the evening.