SPEAKERS AT SAJA25
PANEL: BREAKING INTO THE INDUSTRY
Niraj Chokshi is a general assignment reporter based in New York. He previously covered policy and breaking news for The Washington Post and has also covered technology and politics for The Atlantic, politics and policy for National Journal, and the business of law for The Recorder, a newspaper in San Francisco.
Bhumika Tharoor is the Deputy Director of The Atlantic's Talent Lab, the arm of the newsroom focused on hiring and development. Prior to that, she was at CNN helping build award-winning teams across DC and NY for brands such as CNNPolitics and The Lead with Jake Tapper. She joined from The Washington Post as a corporate recruiter and is certified in behavior-based interviewing. Bhumika has implemented projects on culture and digital transformation in the media space. She is currently pursuing her MBA from Georgetown University.
Mallika Rao is a writer with bylines across digital and print media. Her nonfiction work has appeared, often regularly, at the Village Voice, Atlantic.com, Vulture, the New York Times, newyorker.com, Marie Claire, Real Simple, TOPIC, the Rumpus, VICE, and Believer Magazine. Recent fiction can be found at Catapult. In 2019, she toured the coasts of the U.S. as a contributor with Pop Up Magazine. She has profiled a range of subjects, including Hasan Minhaj, Chloe Wise, Salman Rushdie and Fatima Asghar.
Yoshita Singh is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years' experience of reporting from the US and India on foreign relations, international trade, global policy, business and culture. She is currently the Chief United Nations and New York Correspondent for Press Trust of India (PTI), India's largest newswire headquartered in New Delhi. Yoshita has previously worked in New Delhi, Chicago and Boston.
Moderator: Mihir Zaveri covers breaking news at The New York Times. Previously, he was a local government reporter at the Houston Chronicle. He holds a graduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism. Mihir serves on the board of SAJA.
PANEL: EXPLORING CULTURES THROUGH FOOD
Lavanya Ramanathan is the editor of The Highlight, Vox’s new features journalism platform. She previously was a features reporter for the Style section of The Washington Post and worked at the Orlando Sentinel and Newsday.
Tejal Rao is the first California restaurant critic for The New York Times, and a cooking columnist for The New York Times Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles. She has won two James Beard Foundation awards for restaurant criticism — one in 2013 for her work at the Village Voice, and one in 2016 for her work at Bloomberg News. In 2019, she was awarded a Vilcek Prize in creative promise for her reporting at the New York Times.
Sarah Khan is a freelance travel and food journalist and frequent contributor to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, Saveur, and many others. When she's not on assignment, she's usually holed up in New York, Mumbai, or Cape Town, but you can always find her on Twitter and Instagram:
Moderator: Aarti Virani is an arts and culture writer covering the South Asian diaspora in the New York metropolitan area. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, Surface, Travel + Leisure, and Vogue India, where she is a Contributing Editor. She was previously a Teaching Fellow at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, and also served two terms on the board of the South Asian Journalists Association.
PANEL: TACKLING UNDERREPRESENTATION OF AAPI STORIES
Lakshmi Gandhi is a freelance journalist and social media manager based in New York City. Her work has appeared in NBC Asian America, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, The Juggernaut and Metro New York, among other places. While a student at Newmark Journalism School at CUNY, she began a pop culture blog devoted to the South Asian diaspora, a project that led her into the world of arts and culture reporting after graduation. She often writes and reports on the worlds of literature, identity, and film.
Rachel Ramirez is a senior engagement fellow at Grist where she manages social media platforms, newsletters, and reports on environmental and climate justice. She is a Dow Jones News Fund and Asian-American Journalist Association VOICES alumni. Previously, she worked at the Financial Times, Willamette Week, and the Oregon Business magazine.
Saeed Ahmed leads CNN Digital's content diversity initiative. He also created the Webby-winning morning newsletter, “5 Things.” He teaches a class on storytelling in the digital era that's offered across CNN bureaus around the world and runs the digital news desk's internship program.
Moderator: Snigdha Sur is the founder & CEO of The Juggernaut, a Y Combinator and Precursor Ventures-backed media company telling smart South Asian stories and news. She has worked at McKinsey New York, in Bollywood, in media-focused venture capital/PE, in product/marketing at an Indian video streaming company, and in launch strategy for Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine. She graduated from Harvard Business School as a Baker Scholar with an MBA and magna cum laude from Yale College in Economics and South Asian Studies.
PANEL: REPORTING ON POLITICS OF IMMIGRATION & FOREIGNNESS
Hamed Aleaziz covers immigration for BuzzFeed News, where he tracks major policy changes under the Trump administration and the people most impacted by them. Prior to BuzzFeed News, Hamed covered immigration and general news at the San Francisco Chronicle.
Deepti Hajela has spent more than 20 years in daily journalism, and covers the major events of the day from one of the most high-profile cities in the world. She joined The Associated Press after earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. She's a member of The AP's immigration team and its race and ethnicity team. She has won awards for stories that look to give her global audience new ways of looking at the world around them. Deepti is a former SAJA President.
Sabrina Siddiqui is a national politics reporter at The Wall Street Journal, where she is covering the 2020 presidential election. She is also a political analyst at CNN. Previously, Ms. Siddiqui covered the White House and 2016 presidential race at the Guardian. She was also a politics reporter at The Huffington Post from 2012 to 2015. Ms. Siddiqui got her start in the industry working on the White House desk at Bloomberg News after graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
Moderator: Pavni Mittal is a web producer and contributor at PBS NewsHour Weekend covering national and international affairs. She has over seven years of journalism experience in India and the U.S., and holds a Master's degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
PANEL: ALL THE WAYS TO REPORT ON SPORTS
Adi Joseph is the Editorial Director, CBS Sports at CBS Interactive. He leads NBA and college basketball coverage. He has covered sports for a decade, including NBA All-Star and playoff games, U.S. Open tennis, NASCAR races and more.
Priya Desai is a multimedia journalist who covers the intersection of sports and politics. She is a senior correspondent at Sports Illustrated and produces long-form features and serves as hard news correspondent for morning live show, SI Now. She has also reported for NY1, The Daily and iaTV.
Sheil Kapadia writes about the NFL for The Athletic. He previously covered the Philadelphia Eagles for The Athletic and for Philadelphia Magazine's Birds 24/7 site. Sheil also covered the Seattle Seahawks for ESPN.
Moderator: Sopan Deb is a basketball writer for the New York Times, after having covered the culture beat. He covered Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign for CBS News, and his work has appeared on NBC, Al Jazeera America and elsewhere. His debut book, "Missed Translations: Meeting The Immigrant Parents Who Raised Me," is due out in April, through Harper Collins.
PANEL: COVERING THE BIGGEST GLOBAL STORIES
Akbar Shahid Ahmed covers U.S. foreign policy for HuffPost. Based in Washington, D.C., since 2014, he closely tracks Congress and government agencies, developments in America's relationships with its partners and rivals abroad, and the national conversation on international issues. He's reported from Europe and much of the Muslim-majority world and provided commentary for MSNBC, Al Jazeera, BBC, and other outlets, as well as at SXSW and other events. He is a graduate of Yale University and has previously written for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Generation Progress at the Center for American Progress, and Pakistan's DAWN newspaper and Newsline magazine.
Tania Rashid is an award-winning journalist who presently works as a special correspondent for PBS Newshour. The focus of her work has been on human rights, and women’s issues. She has contributed to networks including: Channel 4 UK, The National Geographic Channel, Vice Media and CNN International. She is a graduate of the University of California Los Angelesand has a masters in Broadcast Journalism and documentary from Columbia University.
Ishaan Tharoor writes about foreign affairs, geopolitics and history for The Washington Post. He previously was a senior editor and correspondent at Time magazine, based first in Hong Kong and later in New York.
Siddhartha Mahanta is a features editor at Insider. He has also served on the editorial staffs of The Atlantic and Foreign Policy. Before that, he was a writing fellow for Mother Jones. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, Bookforum, and elsewhere.
PANEL: PODCASTS - STORYTELLING WITH AUDIO
Sean Rameswaram is the host of Vox’s daily news podcast, Today, Explained. Before joining Vox, Sean reported for WNYC’s Radiolab series More Perfect, where he produced deep features on guns in America, gerrymandering, and other urgent constitutional questions. Before WNYC, he was a reporter for PRI’s Studio 360, as well as the host of Studio 360’s Sideshow podcast and CBC’s Podcast Playlist.
Madhulika Sikka is a media executive with more than two decades of experience across all platforms - video, audio, digital - creating content, launching new initiatives and managing high performing talent. She is the Executive Producer of Audio at The Washington Post. Prior to that she acted as in independent media consultant for a variety of media entities including The Daily Beast, WNYC, Penguin Random House, WAMU, Takepart/Participant Media advising on editorial, talent and organizational strategy. She also served as the public editor of PBS.
Neena Pathak is an audio producer at The New York Times. She currently produces the Still Processing podcast. She used to produce the Another Round podcast at BuzzFeed, and worked in public radio and education before that.
Moderator: Anushka Patil is a social editor at The New York Times and the co-host of “The Cardamom Pod” by Kajal Magazine. Previously, she was a news curation editor at BuzzFeed News.
WORKSHOP: LEARN HOW TO NETWORK
Raakhee Mirchandani is an award winning writer and editor. She is the Editorial Director, Diversity & Inclusion at Barron's Group/ Dow Jones and a parenting columnist at Elle magazine. She is also a celebrity ghost writer, speech writer and the author of Super Satya Saves the Day.
PANEL: BEING HEARD IN A NEWSROOM
Anup Kaphle is the editor-in-chief of The Kathmandu Post. Before returning to Nepal last year, Kaphle spent a decade working in US newsrooms, focusing primarily on international reporting and foreign affairs. He was most recently the executive editor at Roads & Kingdoms, producing stories at the intersection of food, travel and foreign reporting. He previously worked as the deputy foreign editor for BuzzFeed News in London, and prior to that, as the digital foreign editor for The Washington Post and a digital fellow for The Atlantic.
Swati Sharma is the Managing Editor at The Atlantic. She guides the daily reporting at TheAtlantic.com and oversees all of the site’s sections—Politics, Culture, Technology, Ideas, Science, Family, Global, Health, and Education—and their teams. She was previously deputy general assignment editor at The Washington Post, and before joining the Post in 2013, she covered nightlife and hyperlocal news at The Boston Globe.
Moderator: Sameepa Shetty is a producer for Squawk on the Street and Squawk Alley at CNBC. She was previously at AJAM, Fortune and has worked at Bloomberg TV India.
Anusha Shrivastava is the Director, Career Development and Alumni Relations, Dept. of Statistics at Columbia University. She designs, organizes and manages career-related and alumni events, including workshops and career panels, for the largest Statistics department in the US. She also helps recruit students for the department, traveling both within the US and overseas to share information about the MA in Statistics program at Columbia. Previously, Anusha was a business journalist reporting for The Wall Street Journal and AP among others.
Prabha Natarajan is the deputy editor for WSJ Professional Products. She joined the Journal in 2008 as a mortgage bond reporter where she tracked the freezing of structured finance during the crisis and its subsequent reopening. Prior to joining the Journal, Prabha was an award-winning reporter at the Washington Business Journal, Pacific Business News and the Hindu Business Line. She has an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Madras, India.