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Sandy Sugawara Sworn In as Voice of America Deputy Director


Sandy Sugawara is sworn in by VOA Director Amanda Bennett as VOA's new Deputy Director. Kelu Chao, Associate Director for Language Programming, holds the U.S. Constitution.

Sandy Sugawara is sworn in by VOA Director Amanda Bennett as VOA's new Deputy Director. Kelu Chao, Associate Director for Language Programming, holds the U.S. Constitution.

Award-winning journalist Sandy Sugawara, who played a leading role in transforming The Washington Post’s newsroom to a data-driven, digital operation, was sworn in as Deputy Director of the Voice of America on Monday, May 2, joining the leadership team of Amanda Bennett, who was sworn in as VOA’s new Director two weeks ago.

“I am so excited to welcome Sandy to our team,” Bennett said. “She has both impeccable journalistic credentials and deep experience in leading news organizations through digital transformation. We will all be looking to Sandy to help guide us in building on the progress VOA has already made toward becoming a modern, agile digital operation around the world.”

Sugawara is VOA’s first Deputy Director in nearly two decades.

“Our diverse audiences around the world are increasingly turning to digital means to get their news and information, which makes our ability to reach them in this way more critical than ever before,” Bennett said.

Sugawara has spent more than three decades in journalism, starting as a UPI reporter and rising to senior management positions at The Washington Post. Most recently, she served for more than three years as Managing Editor for Trove, a digital news startup owned by The Washington Post/Graham Holdings Company. She developed editorial, engagement and social media strategies and oversaw the Trove editorial team. She also worked closely with technical experts to develop a system that delivered high-quality personalized news to diverse audiences.

Previously, as head of The Washington Post’s Universal News Desk (2009 to 2012), Sugawara helped lead efforts to merge the newspaper’s print and digital operations and to collaborate with the Trove innovation team (formerly WaPo Labs).

“I am thrilled to be stepping into this amazing opportunity,” said Sugawara, a graduate of Wellesley College. “I can’t wait to start working with Amanda Bennett and the rest of the VOA team, as the organization embraces the challenges and demands of an ever-changing media world.”

Sugawara also served at The Washington Post as Assistant Managing Editor for business. She oversaw coverage during the global financial meltdown of 2008 to 2009, with the paper’s business staff winning several journalism awards. She also supervised coverage of airline security in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, financial and securities fraud, and immigration issues.

As a reporter at The Washington Post, Sugawara spent several years as a Tokyo-based correspondent and covered the Securities and Exchange Commission, telecommunications, government contracting and local politics.

The Voice of America reaches a global weekly audience of more than 187 million people in more than 40 languages. VOA programs are delivered on satellite, cable, shortwave, FM, medium wave, streaming audio and video, and more than 2,350 media outlets worldwide. VOA is funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

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