AAJA Announces 2020-2021 National Officer Candidates


Dear AAJA Members,
AAJA will be seeking a slate of new officers for the 2020-2021 term. Electronic voting will begin Tuesday, July 16 with the final results announced at the AAJA Gala Banquet at #AAJA19 in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, August 3.
We will be electing a Sr. Vice President, a Vice President of Journalism Programs and a Vice President of Communications. The role of each officer is below:
1. Sr. Vice President: The senior vice president shall oversee directors of platforms and affinity groups, to ensure direct representation of members. The senior vice president's duties include identifying and pursuing opportunities for chapter development. The senior vice president serves as acting president in the event the president is unable to fulfill his or her duties.
2. Vice President of Journalism Programs: The vice president of journalism programs shall be dedicated to fulfilling the following two tenets of AAJA's mission, as well as making sure AAJA's professional training and support stays ahead of industry changes.
  • To provide a means of association and support among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) journalists, and to advance AAPI journalists as news managers and media executives.
  • To provide encouragement, information, advice and scholarship assistance to AAPI students who aspire to professional journalism careers.
3. Vice President of CommunicationsThe Vice President of Communications shall keep, or cause to be kept, a book of minutes at the principal office or such other place as the board of directors may order, of all meetings of the directors and membership. Minutes shall include time and place of the meeting; whether regular or special, and if special, how authorized; the type of notice given; the name of those present at the directors meetings; the number of members present; and the proceedings of the meeting. S/he shall give, or cause to be given, notice of all the meetings of the membership and of the board of directors required by the By-laws or by law. S/he shall keep the seal of the corporation in safe custody, and shall have such other powers and perform other duties as may be prescribed by the Governing Board or by the By-laws. The holder of this office shall be a member of the corporations Governing Board.
This year's election schedule*:
  • Wednesday, July 3 - Announcement of candidates, 5pm PT
  • Thursday, July 11Nomination period for VP of Journalism Programs ends, 5pm PT
  • Tuesday, July 16 - Announcement of VP of Journalism Programs candidate(s); Voting begins, 5pm PT
  • Friday, August 2 - Voter eligibility deadline, 11am ET
  • Friday, August 2 - Voting ends, 12pm ET
  • Saturday, August 3 - Announcement of Officers-Elect at 2019 Gala Banquet in Atlanta

*Please note this election schedule has changed from the original timeline due to the extension of the nomination deadline for Vice President of Journalism Programs candidates.




Nicole Dungca works as a reporter on The Boston Globe’s projects and investigations team. She joined the Globe’s newsroom in 2014 to write about transportation. She previously covered education and breaking news at The Oregonian, and has also written for The Providence Journal and The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. She currently serves as AAJA's Vice President of Communications.

Excerpt from Nicole's candidate statement:

"At every step in my career, AAJA has been a constant. I’ve been a chapter president, national board representative, secretary, and vice president of communications – and the skills I’ve learned in each post will help me make AAJA even stronger. As senior vice president, I want to further energize the chapters and the affinity groups that are so important to our members."

Click here to view Nicole's complete candidate statement.





Kris Vera-Phillipsis an Emmy Award-winning news producer with more than 14 years experience in broadcast journalism. She recently worked as the senior news producer at KPBS News, San Diego's PBS and NPR station. Beyond the newsroom, Kris serves as a governing board member for the Asian American Journalists Association, representing at-large members. Before public media, Kris produced news shows and specials for CBS and NBC in the San Francisco Bay Area. Beyond the newsroom, Kris helps train and mentor college student journalists with AAJA Voices and NPR's Next Generation Radio Fellowship. She also served as a mentor for high school journalists with PBS NewsHour's Student Reporting Labs Academy.

Excerpt from Kris' candidate statement:

"AAJA supported me at all points of my journalism career. I started off as a news producer in Topeka, Kansas, where I was the only Asian American journalist in the newsroom. Through the AAJA mentorship program and networking events with local chapters, I found friends, colleagues and allies...I want to continue that tradition of support and empowerment with AAJA. I know I can do that as the next AAJA Vice President of Journalism Programs."

Click here to view Kris' complete candidate statement.




Shirley Qiu is the audience engagement strategist at the American Press Institute and the co-director of AAJA Women & Non-Binary Voices. Previously, she worked as the Features Producer at The Seattle Times, where she managed online engagement efforts for the Features section and the Sunday magazine. She also previously served as the AAJA-Seattle chapter secretary and national advisory board representative. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2015 with a double degree in journalism and international studies.

Excerpt from Shirley's candidate statement:

"I’ll never forget the generosity I’ve received, particularly in those early days [after having just joined], from AAJA members — often people I’d never met before. But that seems to be the ethos of AAJA: helping each other out, lifting each other up, eating and laughing together, sharing our triumphs and struggles together. It feels rare to be a part of such genuine camaraderie in a professional association. I’d like to help carry on this tradition by serving as AAJA’s VP of Communications."

Click here to view Shirley's complete candidate statement.


ELIGIBILITY: Only active and full AAJA members are eligible to nominate a candidate according to the by-laws. If you have any questions about your voting eligibility, please contact Justin Seiter at the AAJA National Office at justins@aaja.org. Eligible voters will be sent an email with voting information.

ELECTION RESULTS: Election results will be announced during the AAJA Scholarship & Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, August 3 at the AAJA National Convention in Atlanta.

For questions related to the election, please contact AAJA Vice President of Civic Engagement Pia Sarkar at piasarkar@gmail.com.