The Washington Journalism and Media Conference


Sonya Ross

Race and Ethnicity Editor, The Associated Press

A native of Atlanta, Ga., Sonya Ross attended Georgia State University and joined The Associated Press in 1987 as a general assignment reporter in its Atlanta bureau. She went on to cover the Georgia legislature, and was promoted to The AP’s national staff in Washington in 1992 to cover civil rights, race and urban affairs. She joined the White House press corps in 1995 as the first African-American woman assigned to The AP’s presidential reporting team. Sonya became World Services editor in 2002, and helped direct The AP’s coverage of the global anti-terrorism campaign and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2004, Sonya was on the team of editors directing coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions, and became news editor for The AP’s Washington-based regional reporters in December 2004. In 2010, Sonya was named The AP’s first-ever race and ethnicity editor, responsible for coverage that captures the changing facets of race relations in the United States, and its effects on the experiences of the American people. The pursuit of news has taken Sonya to 48 countries and an untold number of American cities while on assignment covering Presidents William J. Clinton and George W. Bush, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell. During the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Sonya was the print pool journalist with President Bush on Air Force One as he was evacuated to safety according to procedures established by the U.S. government during the Cold War. Sonya served on the board of the White House Correspondents Association from 1999-2003, and currently serves on the board of the Washington Press Club Foundation. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

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