The Asian American Journalists Association yesterday announced that former newspaper and television industry professional Ellen Endo will be the organization’s new executive director. Endo fills the spot vacated by the departure of Rene Astudillo, who has led AAJA since 1999.
“It is indeed an honor to be able to carry on AAJA’s proud history of promoting the highest journalistic ideals and sharing these principles with younger generations,” Endo stated.
Endo spent 24 years in TV industry senior management positions, serving as executive vice president of Republic Pictures Productions, senior vice president of MGM/UA Television, vice president of Embassy Communications, and program executive with the ABC network. She was instrumental in developing numerous television series, mini-series, and movies, among them the Emmy-winning “Separate but Equal,” which dramatized the desegregation of schools by Brown vs. the Board of Education, and Golden Globe winner, “One Against the Wind,” a historic drama set in World War II.
She also served as managing editor of The Rafu Shimpo, Los Angeles Japanese Daily News, and chief operating officer of the nonprofit Go For Broke National Education Center.
A journalism graduate of the University of Southern California, Endo currently serves on the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association board of directors. She is president of the Little Tokyo Business Association and a member of the Little Tokyo Community Council executive board.
AAJA National President Jeanne Mariani-Belding said, “We’re pleased to have Ellen on board. Her fund-raising expertise and her passion for AAJA’s mission will be key assets for our organization.”
AAJA is a non-profit professional and educational organization with approximately 2,000 members and 20 chapters in major cities across the United States and in Asia. The AAJA National Office is based in San Francisco. Endo can be reached at (415) 346-2051 or Executive@aaja.org.
Founded in 1981, AAJA encourages Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to enter the ranks of journalism, works for fair and accurate coverage of AAPIs, and seeks to increase the number of AAPI journalists and news managers in the industry. AAJA is an alliance partner in UNITY Journalists of Color, along with the Native American Journalists Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and National Association of Black Journalists. For more information, visit http://www.aaja.org.