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The American Mandarin Society is proud to announce the selection of its Next-Generation Journalists for 2024. We received an overwhelming number of talented writers who are developing careers covering China, and our only regret is that we could not select more than four for this year.

The AMS Next-Generation Journalist Program is designed to support promising young writers through tailored mentorships with renowned journalists. We hope that this program brings new and original voices to the public discourse of China and U.S.-China relations and aids these journalists in further developing their careers.

Congratulations to Han Chen, Johanna Costigan, Bochen Han, and Hannah Pedone! We are excited to hear their stories over this next year and support them in their future endeavors. We also want to recognize and thank our 2024 mentors, Richard McGregor, Alexa Olesen, Keith Richburg, and Melissa Chan for their dedication to fostering the next generation of China-focused writers.


Han Chen

Han Chen is a freelance journalist based in Washington D.C. He was most recently an editorial fellow at Axios, covering U.S.-China relations, Chinese politics, human rights, and demographic trends. Before that, he worked at Radio Free Asia, where he wrote about Chinese grassroots activism and Beijing’s growing influence abroad. His work has also appeared in the The Diplomat, Voice of America, China Daily and more. Besides China, Han is also interested in geopolitics, migration and minority rights. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where he was a Bloomberg Scholar.


Johanna M. Costigan 

Johanna M. Costigan is a writer focused on China’s tech development and regulation and the party-state’s handling of historical narratives. She has written for outlets including the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel, Foreign Policy, China Books Review, Rest of World, Project Syndicate, ChinaFile, Nikkei Asia, The Diplomat, and others. (Her work is available on her website.) She is a regular contributor to Forbes. She writes a newsletter on science, technology, and history in China called The Long Game. She has worked on writing and editing projects for the United Nations, Trivium China, the Asia Society Policy Institute, the National Committee on US-China Relations, DigiChina, the Berggruen Institute, and others.

She has an MsC in Contemporary Chinese Studies from the University of Oxford, where her dissertation focused on social media discourse of state-sponsored depictions of China’s role in World War II (The War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression). She completed the Inter-University Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing and studied abroad at Qingdao University. At Bard College, she double majored in East Asian Studies with a focus on Chinese language and literature and Written Arts. She has lived, worked, and studied in the People’s Republic of China and traveled through Taiwan. She speaks Mandarin Chinese.

Bochen Han

Bochen Han is a Washington correspondent for the South China Morning Post. Her coverage spans US-China relations, including US Congressional politics, and the lives and cultures of the Chinese diaspora. Before her pivot to journalism, Bochen spent two years at a US-based think tank researching domestic Chinese media, transnational repression, and China’s influence on global media. Prior to that, she spent two years in Myanmar and Thailand working on human rights and development issues, including at the UN Human Rights Regional Office in Bangkok, a civil society organization based on the Thailand-Myanmar border, and a Yangon-based technology social enterprise. Bochen studied political science at Duke University, during which she led the Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit and interned at The Diplomat magazine and the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds a Master’s in China studies and international law and economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, as well as a graduate certificate from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. Bochen was born in China and immigrated to Canada at age 7.

Hannah Pedone

Hannah Pedone is a Blakemore Fellow based in Beijing at the Inter-University Program at Tsinghua University. She studied International Economic Policy and International Relations in a dual master’s degree at Sciences Po and Peking University. As a student in China, she conducted research on shadow banking in the Chinese property sector. 

Previously, Hannah was a Huayu Scholar in Taipei, Taiwan and she graduated in 2021 with a degree in Economics and International Relations from the University of St Andrews. She interned for Bloomberg News, and her writing has appeared in the Boston Globe and Bloomberg Businessweek.


Richard McGregor
Richard McGregor

Former Washington and Beijing Bureau Chief for The Financial Times, and author of the books The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers and, most recently, Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century

Keith Richburg
Keith Richburg

Director of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong, and spent more than 20 years overseas for The Washington Post. In 2022, Richburg joined Washington Post Opinions as a Global Opinions columnist.
Alexa Olesen
Alexa Olesen

Director of Research at China Six, lead reporter/writer of China-focused stories for The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ award-winning China Leaks and Panama Papers projects, author of Pen America’s Censorship and Conscience: Foreign Authors and the Challenge of Chinese Censorship, and former correspondent for The Associated Press in Singapore and Beijing

Melissa Chan
Melissa Chan

Emmy-nominated print and television journalist based between Los Angeles and Berlin, focusing on transnational issues, often involving China’s influence beyond its borders, as well as the rise of global authoritarianism and ebb of democracies. Formerly with Al Jazeera and published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Time, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, and more.

This program is made possible by support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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