Award-winning journalist is AP's Indonesia chief

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Margie Mason, an award-winning correspondent for The Associated Press in Southeast Asia, has been promoted to chief of bureau for Indonesia.

The appointment was announced Monday by Asia-Pacific Editor Brian Carovillano. Mason will be based in Jakarta, where she will oversee AP's coverage of the world's fourth most populous country, a sprawling and diverse island nation.

"Indonesia is one of Asia's and the world's most important countries, and Mason is an exacting journalist with deep interest in the issues facing its 240 million people," said John Daniszewski, senior managing editor for international news. "This appointment will serve the AP's long record of news leadership in the region."

Mason first joined AP in 1997 in Charleston, West Virginia. In 2000, she joined the San Francisco bureau, where she covered the city. In 2003, she transferred to Hanoi, Vietnam, where she developed a regional Asia-Pacific medical beat, a role she will continue to serve in Jakarta. Since 2010, she also served as acting bureau chief for Vietnam.

Mason has reported on health issues from 20 countries, including on the front lines of SARS, H5N1 bird flu and many other major outbreaks.

In 2008, she was selected as a Nieman Global Health fellow at Harvard University, where she studied at the School of Public Health. At the end of that program, she co-wrote a five-part series "When Drugs Stop Working," that examined the threat of global drug resistance from four continents. The series won the National Association of Science Writers' Science in Society Award in 2010 and was a finalist for the SPJ Deadline Club's Daniel Pearl Award for Investigative Reporting. It also received honors from the National Headliner awards and APME.

Mason has covered many big stories in the Asia-Pacific region, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2010 floods in Pakistan and last year's flooding in Thailand.

A native of Daybrook, West Virginia, Mason, 37, started her reporting career at her hometown newspaper, the Dominion Post, in Morgantown, West Virginia. She also worked at the Florida Times-Union newspaper in Jacksonville. She holds a degree in journalism from West Virginia University and was awarded an Asian Studies fellowship for journalists at the University of Hawaii in 1999.