Prior to joining NPR in 2012, Chang was an investigative journalist at NPR member station WNYC in New York City. She has received a number of national awards for her investigative reporting. She is a former lawyer.
Chang earned a bachelor's degree from Stanford University. She earned a master's degree in media law from Oxford University. She also earned a master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University. She graduated with a law degree from Stanford Law School.
Chang joined NPR in 2008 as a Kroc fellow. At that time she wrote an investigative report into the public defender system of Detroit. The piece, which aired on NPR in 2009, was awarded the 2010 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize.
Chang joined WNYC radio in 2009. She reported on criminal justice, terrorism and the courts. At WNYC, Chang wrote an investigative report into "stop-and-frisk" search policies of New York City Police Department. The series, which aired on NPR in 2011, earned her a silver baton in the 2012 Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Awards.
Chang returned to NPR in 2012. She is currently a correspondent for Planet Money. Previously she reported on US Congress activities, specifically on areas such as immigration, healthcare and gun control. On 1 January 2018 she assumed a co-chair (with Ari Shapiro, Audie Cornish, and Kelly McEvers) on the afternoon series All Things Considered.
- 2001 Irvine Hellman, Jr. Special Award
- "Ailsa Chang". NPR. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
- Chang, Ailsa (17 August 2009). "Not Enough Money Or Time To Defend Detroit's Poor". National Public Radio. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "WBUR, Boston University Announce 2010 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize Winner" (Press release). Boston University. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "People – Ailsa Chang". New York Public Radio. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- Chang, Ailsa (26 April 2011). "Alleged Illegal Searches by NYPD May Be Increasing Marijuana Arrests". WNYC. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "duPont-Columbia Winners Archive". Columbia University. Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2016.