AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program (ELP) is dedicated to developing the next generation of journalists who can lead in uncertain times and build a sustainable future for journalism. In today’s changing media landscape, it is vital that leaders are equipped for addressing the responsibilities and challenges of serving our increasingly diverse and cross-cultural world.
The program has an impressive 20+ year track record, committed to journalistic excellence and leadership training. ELP provides targeted professional development to diverse, high-potential, ambitious, and community-minded professionals. The program delivers more strategic, agile, confident and diversity conscious leaders. ELP has trained more than 500 media professionals to date, successfully fostering a pipeline of savvy industry leaders — many at major media companies — and providing graduates with access to a robust, life-long, and supportive alumni network.
AAJA is proud to announce the inaugural ELP Asia class:
Shelly Banjo is a senior writer on Bloomberg's global technology team where she focuses on Asia and writes features for BusinessWeek Magazine and Bloomberg News. She also contributes regularly to the Fully Charged Newsletter, the Decrypted podcast, and Bloomberg Television. Previously, she served as a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion in Hong Kong and New York. She joined Bloomberg after a year at Quartz, and eight years at the Wall Street Journal in New York, where she covered retail, business, financial services and personal finance, and wrote front-page stories on companies like Nike and Walmart.
Aria Chen is a video producer at Time Magazine, where she coordinates breaking news video coverage during Asia Day. She produces breaking news video for time.com and its social media platforms, shoots and edits feature videos and occasionally writes articles. Before joining Time, she was a fellow with McClatchy based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she made original videos for The Sun News and trained reporters and photographers on their video skills. She also spent three months in Atlanta as an intern with CNN's medical unit writing articles on health. Aria has a Master's degree from Columbia Journalism School.
Selina Cheng is an investigative reporter at HK01, a Chinese-language news outlet in Hong Kong. She broke stories on sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein and his Hong Kong movie partner, China’s most wanted fugitives who found asylum in the US, and prominent Buddhist monks who embezzled millions using US annuity schemes. She had previously reported for Quartz, ProPublica, Miami Herald, AP, AFP and French broadcaster M6. Selina graduated from Columbia Journalism School’s Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism.
Zela Chin is an award-winning journalist and is the principal reporter for documentary program Pearl Magazine on TVB. Its shows reach over 300 million households worldwide. Zela started her career at CNN in Atlanta, and later joined CNN in Hong Kong to produce Talk Asia. Highlights include interviews with Alibaba CEO Jack Ma and scientist Stephen Hawking. She is the Executive Vice President for AAJA’s Asia chapter, and a member of the Hong Kong Journalists Association and Foreign Correspondents' Club. Zela has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Hong Kong, and a bachelor’s in Slavic languages from Duke University.
Lisa Du is a reporter at Bloomberg News in Tokyo where she writes about Japanese companies. Her coverage of Japanese businesses includes the arrest of former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn and Takeda Pharmaceutical’s $62 billion purchase of Shire, the largest business acquisition out of Japan. Lisa moved to Tokyo from Bloomberg’s New York office, and previously worked at Newsday and Business Insider in the U.S.
Brolley Genster is the culture editor at the Korea JoongAng Daily, the English-language daily newspaper that he joined in 2015 as a copy editor. He previously interned at EBS FM in Seoul and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington, D.C. He majored in Public Communication at American University and has lived in Seoul since 2012. Brolley currently serves as the co-VP of AAJA Asia's Seoul subchapter.
Divya Gopalan is a Hong Kong-based freelance journalsit. She has worked – and continues to work – as a news anchor in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, having been deployed in 17 different countries. She has extensive experience in the broadcast industry as a producer, assignments, editor and writer and also contributes to various outlets. She worked for some of the world’s most respected news channels like Al Jazeera, BBC and CNN.
Gavin Huang is the editor at Goldthread, a digital culture publication under the South China Morning Post. He was previously an editor at the Korea JoongAng Daily, the partner paper of The New York Times in Seoul.
Abhishyant Kidangoor is an Associate Video Producer at TIME magazine in Hong Kong. Prior to TIME, he worked with CNN-News18 as a television news producer in New Delhi. A graduate of Columbia University, Abhishyant is interested in reporting on South Asian politics and culture.
A lawyer by training, Joon-Nie Lau spent 15 years as a reporter, web producer, current affairs producer and news editor at Channel NewsAsia. In her 7 years at Nanyang Technological University, Joon-Nie set-up and headed Newsplex Asia, a US$700,000 convergent training newsroom in partnership with WAN-IFRA. She currently leads the WAN-IFRA APAC team in Singapore.
Juliana Liu is a multimedia journalist and editor with experience working on three continents for the world's top media organizations. She loves building teams, conceptualizing innovative digital formats and creating something new. She is the first woman of color to be elected president of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Hong Kong. She is also a mom of four.
Joe Pan is a seasoned communications and media management professional with over 18 years of track record in industries and sectors such as financial, sports, consumer electronics, real estate, professional services and political campaign; backed by a political consulting and journalism background in APAC and the US. Joe has experience in building and managing global branding and reputation programs with an entrepreneurial spirit and the gravitas to advice C-suite executives, government officials, high-net-worth investors, and celebrities. He is fluent in spoken and written Mandarin and Cantonese.
Lisa Yuriko Thomas is the Global Features Editor for Tictoc by Bloomberg. Based in Hong Kong, she joined the social video news network shortly after it launched in Asia in 2018. Previously, she worked for AJ+, Al Jazeera's social video channel, as senior producer/Asia editor for Newsgathering.
Valencia Tong writes about contemporary art with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region and emerging markets. She is interested in a wide range of media, including drawings, paintings, illustrations, street art, video and media art, design and architecture. Currently, she explores the intersection between technology and art, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, AI and blockchain, and the influence of music on art. Her work has been published in Blouin Artinfo, Art+Auction, Modern Painters, ArtAsiaPacific, Art & Market, The Artling, Art Radar Journal, Artomity, HK ARTION, TheArtro, Luxglove, VRScout, and the Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia editions of Asia Tatler.
Mark Zastrow is a science writer based in Seoul. He’s written for Nature, New Scientist, Sky & Telescope, NOVA Next, Retraction Watch, and other outlets. He co-edits Back of the Envelope, the science section of the literary magazine The Offing, and is the newsletter editor for Korea Exposé. He is also a board member of the Asia chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. He received his bachelors degree in astrophysics from the University of Minnesota and masters degrees in astronomy and science journalism from Boston University. He is currently a full-time freelancer, photographer, licensed pilot, and devout F1 fan.