AAJA’s governing board has voted to approve Clea Benson and Padma Rama as AAJA representatives on the UNITY board of directors, replacing Neal Justin and Hailey Lee for the 2017-2018 term.
Clea is deputy editor at POLITICO Pro. Before joining POLITICO as financial services editor last year, she spent five years covering financial regulation and federal housing policy at Bloomberg News. She has also written about politics, government, and economics as a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Sacramento Bee, and Congressional Quarterly. Clea has taught at or directed AAJA’s JCamp every year since 2001. She’s from Los Angeles, went to Bryn Mawr College, and holds a graduate journalism degree from U.C. Berkeley. Follow Clea on Twitter @cleabenson.
Padma is a broadcast journalist for the Associated Press where most recently she covered the 2016 presidential election as well as feature enterprises for AP domestic and global clients. Padma is a graduate of AAJA’s 2016 Executive Leadership Program. This past summer, she was also a co-instructor with MSNBC’s Richard Lui for JCamp’s broadcast students at George Washington University. In the past year, thanks in part to the mentorship she received during ELP, she’s taken on a greater role at the AP reporting on Asian American issues, including AAPI voter trends. As a multi-ethnic journalist, Padma has always been interested in learning more about and reporting on the stories of people who reflect a broad range of backgrounds.
An award-winning journalist, her work has been featured by several major news organizations including CNN, NPR and Slate. Prior to the AP, Padma was a digital editor with NPR covering the 2012 presidential election. A multi-platform journalist, she has reported for television, digital print and radio. Follow Padma on Twitter @padmananda.