Michelle Ye Hee Lee is the incoming Tokyo/Seoul bureau chief of The Washington Post, covering Japan and the two Koreas beginning summer 2021. She is the president of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), a professional nonprofit of more than 1,800 members across the U.S. and in Asia dedicated to greater diversity in newsrooms and in news coverage.
Michelle covers diplomacy and foreign affairs, and previously covered national politics and government accountability. She has covered campaign finance, political influence operations, ethics in government, voting access, and lobbying efforts. She was a reporter on The Washington Post Fact Checker, writing political fact checks with a focus on the Trump White House, 2016 presidential candidates, and congressional leadership. Prior to joining The Post in 2014, Michelle was a politics and investigations reporter at The Arizona Republic.
As AAJA’s president, she is a vocal supporter of greater representation and inclusion in the news industry and news leadership, and of thoughtful news coverage of underrepresented communities, especially Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Under her leadership, AAJA has set the standard for news coverage of AAPI communities during the coronavirus pandemic, the rising reports of violence against Americans of Asian descent, and most recently, the March 2021 shootings in Atlanta.
Michelle was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in Guam. She graduated from Emory University with a degree in international relations and English.