AAJA Seattle Board

Your 2024 Officers

President: Naomi Ishisaka (The Seattle Times)

Naomi Ishisaka is the Assistant Managing Editor for Diversity, Inclusion and Staff Development and the Social Justice Columnist for The Seattle Times. She is a journalist and photographer who focuses on racial equity and social justice. In 2020, she was awarded first place in the Best in the West competition for Special Topics Column Writing for her work in The Seattle Times and in 2021 she won second place for social justice columns from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Her writing and photography have appeared in The Seattle Times, Seattle Magazine, City Arts, ColorsNW Magazine, Seattle Globalist, South Seattle Emerald and other publications.

VP of Events: Celia Wu (Global Press)

Celia is the Director of Education & Learning at Legitimate, the Journalist’s Tool Suite. She is a long-time media executive and journalism evangelist who works at the intersection of publishing, reader revenue, product innovation, and academia. She holds a Masters of Arts from the Missouri School of Journalism and was a Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow, where she developed the first ever Chrome extension of a newsroom’s style guide. Celia also serves on the board of InvestigateWest, is a Co-Chair of the AAJA Style Guide Committee, and is an Alumni Trustee of Hampshire College.

VP of Events: Nathan Hyun (KREM 2 News)

Nathan Hyun is an award winning reporter at KREM 2 News in Spokane. He reports on breaking news and city issues. Before joining KREM 2, Nathan was an intern at The News Tribune in Tacoma, NBC News and CBS News. He graduated from the University of Southern California, where he studied journalism. At USC, he worked for his student’s newsroom where he was an executive producer and anchor. Nathan is a former AAJA Seattle NJC award winner and is originally from University Place.

VP of Programs: Yihyun Jeong (The Seattle Times) 

Yihyun Jeong is a deputy metro editor at The Seattle Times, where she edits local news with a focus on breaking news and digital strategy. A graduate of AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program and a recipient of an AAJA Seattle scholarship, she’s excited to oversee and coordinate the chapter’s programs. Prior to living in Seattle, Yihyun lived in Nashville, where she was a politics reporter, and in Phoenix, where she grew up. She previously covered city politics, public safety and immigration at The Arizona Republic.

VP of Membership & Communications: Qina Liu (The Seattle Times)

Qina Liu is senior news producer at The Seattle Times, where she works to advance digital strategy. Prior to that, she worked in audience engagement, serving as the digital engagement editor at The Buffalo News. She is an AAJA ELP class of 2022 grad and a Poynter Leadership Academy for Diversity in Media class of 2023 grad. The Seattle transplant from Buffalo, N.Y., enjoys PNW walks with her rescue dog, Jack.

Treasurer: Elise Takahama (The Seattle Times)

Elise Takahama is a health reporter for The Seattle Times, reporting on hospitals, health care workers, medical technology and research, health equity and COVID-19. She previously covered crime and breaking news in Seattle and is originally from LA.

Secretary: Jenn Smith (The Seattle Times)

Jenn Smith (she/her) is proudly entering the 20th year of her journalism career. It has spanned coast to coast, from Western Massachusetts to Seattle and taken her to places like post-earthquake Haiti and the newsrooms of Pakistan. She is the engagement reporter for The Seattle Times Education Lab, now celebrating its 10th anniversary. An adoptee from Kolkata, India, Jenn is a 2023 alumna of AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program. She co-leads the Times’ Newsroom Equity Team, is a union steward for the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild and volunteers with the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands. She is always looking to collaborate with community members to share their stories and for gardening tips and playlist recommendations. Keep in touch at jennsmith@seattletimes.com or @JennSmith_Ink on X.

National Board Representative: Tim Pham (KREM 2 News) 

Tim Pham is a morning news anchor at KREM 2 in Spokane, Wash. He has more than a decade of experience as a journalist working in newsrooms in Pullman, Denver, Phoenix, Great Falls, Chattanooga, and now Spokane. He is a graduate of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. He is a rising leader in the newsroom and community in Eastern Washington. He mentors younger journalists and volunteers with many organizations including AAJA.