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Faces Of NPR: Ha-Hoa Hamano

Ha-Hoa Hamano.

Faces Of NPR is a weekly feature that showcases the people behind NPR, from the voices you hear every day on the radio to the ones who work outside of the recording studio. You'll find out about what they do and what inspires them. This week's post features NPR Digital Media's Ha-Hoa Hamano.

The Basics:

Name: Ha-Hoa Hamano

Twitter Handle:@hahoais_

Job Title: Senior Product Manager, Platforms

Where You're From: Dearborn, Michigan

An Inside Look

You're a Senior Product Manager at NPR Digital Media. What does that mean?

I work with folks from around the organization to identify and prioritize painpoints that users and businesses experience while using or building for our content. What that means is that I juggle a lot of feedback and break down (unpack, if you will) these problems into discrete, solvable chunks. Then I repeat that process until we've met a predetermined measurement of success.

How did you get started here? Or what advice do you have for someone who wants a job like yours?

I had considered establishing an open developer program at a previous job, and I was intrigued by the promise of application programming interface's (API's) extending business opportunities. When I saw NPR's job posting, the position description jumped out as a dream job for me. Once I met with the team, which was very open and candid about what I'd be signing up for, I knew that it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Here I am, two years later, and I still walk into the building thinking, "Wow, I can't believe I'm here."

Ha-Hoa worked with her team to create this wall-map of NPR's member stations.
Selly Sallah / NPR
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Ha-Hoa worked with her team to create this wall-map of NPR's member stations.

What are some interesting projects you've worked on? What do you love most about working with digital media?

My claim to fame is NPR on a smart fridge. The most exciting and interesting aspect about the projects that I work on isn't the whizzbang or shininess. It's the variety of opportunities ranging from upstart mindfulness wearables to established technology platforms. We want to be everywhere the listener is, and I am a small part of making that happen.

What's your favorite #nprlife moment?

Just yesterday, our pod had a spontaneous Q&A about mate tea, its health benefits, and a local restaurant that makes a great spiked tea.

What's on your desk?

A box of Troll band-aids, Emergen-C, three types of vessels for coffee, an Echo Dot, and a smartwatch.

Ha-Hoa Desk Photo
Selly Sallah / NPR
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Favorite podcast?

A tie between What's Good with Stretch & Bobbito and Strong Opinions Loosely Held.

First thing you do when you get to the office?

After I park my bike in the bike room, I head straight to Sound Bites to see what specials Chef Jeff has for breakfast.

Favorite Tiny Desk?

Rapsody.

Ha-Hoa listens to her favorite Tiny Desk Concert on NPR One using a smart device.
Selly Sallah / NPR
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Ha-Hoa listens to her favorite Tiny Desk Concert on NPR One using a smart device.

Favorite places in Washington D.C.?

The National Arboretum.

What are you inspired by right now?

I watched the Jay-Z interview with Dean Baquet and followed it with the Miss Mary Hamilton episode from Code Switch. It was quite the shot/chaser.

What do you love about public radio?

I love the passion and loyalty our audience has for public radio and that it's the envy of other publishers. I love that our storytelling is so immersive. I love that it is genuinely mission driven.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ha-Hoa Red Wall Headshot
Selly Sallah / NPR
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Jeevika Verma joined NPR's Morning Edition and Up First as a producer in February 2020. During her time there, she's produced a variety of stories ranging from Afghanistan peace talks, COVID surges in India and local & state elections. Verma also contributes to arts and poetry coverage for NPR's culture desk, and is always trying to get more poets on air. She leads the Morning Edition diversity council and works on DEI efforts across the network to help NPR live up to its mission.
Selly Sallah
Shelby Burns