Aziz Haniffa honoured with leadership award
Aziz Haniffa, Executive Editor of India Abroad, received the Outstanding Industry Leadership Award for Excellence in Journalism at the recent 18th Annual Awards Banquet 2017 of the U.S.-India Chamber of Commerce. This was the first time in the USICOC’s 18-year history that the USICOC had given its Leadership Award-traditionally awarded to a businessperson or industrialist-- to a media person. The presentation was made by India’s Ambassador to the U.S., Navtej Sarna at a formal ceremony in Washington DC.
Haniffa, is perhaps the first and only South Asian journalist based in the U.S., who has relentlessly covered U.S.-South Asia relations and the South Asian American community for the past three decades. The Sri-Lankan born Haniffa, an erstwhile Thomian and ex-rugby play--a burly prop forward--immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1980s after graduating from the University of Sri Lanka, double majoring in English and Economics, with a brief stint as a subeditor and foreign affairs columnist in the Sun/Weekend of the now defunct Independent Newspapers Ltd.
After completing his master’s degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C,, doublemajoring in Political Science and International Affairs, he joined India Abroad--the oldest and largest circulating Indian/ South Asian newspaper in the U.S.--- as a reporter in the late 1980s, and is now the newspaper’s executive editor.
While based in D.C., in the 1980s and 1990’s, he also reported for the SUN and later the Sri Lanka Daily News and along with Thalif Deen, Iqbal Athas, Faizal Samath, covered the late President Junius Jayawardene’s state visit to the U.S. in 1984 at the invitation of then U.S. President Ronald Reagan.