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Chris Johns - Photographer - Changemaker Speaker Series
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Chris Johns – Photographer

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The first photographer to be named Editor-in-Chief for National Geographic magazine, Chris Johns’ career has been defined by a focus on excellence in photography, cartography (mapping the world), and reporting. He served as the ninth Editor-in-Chief of the iconic magazine from January 2005 to April 2014, an era marked by 63 nominations resulting in 23 National Magazine Awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors. In 2008, Chris was named Magazine Editor of the Year and in 2011 National Geographic was named Magazine of the Year. Following his role as Editor-in-Chief, Chris led the organization as Chief Content Officer and guided a major initiative called “Beyond Yellowstone,” a multi-year project to document the health of America’s first National Park, on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service. A native of Oregon, Chris currently resides with his family in Missoula, Montana, where he works as a filmmaker and teaches journalism at the University of Montana and (virtually) for Oregon State University.

Featured Presentation

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The Wonder and the Worry: A Photographer’s Journey

For twenty years, Chris Johns had one of the most enviable gigs in the world: National Geographic photographer. When he was promoted to Editor-in-Chief, he realized that he truly had the best job in the world. At the helm of one of the world’s most treasured brands, Chris was charged with celebrating the wonders of the world while addressing the many challenges that threaten to overwhelm us. Success and reader engagement relied on a delicate dance between these two polarities. Chris reflects on his life in photography and journalism and the professional and personal experiences that have led him to connect with what matters most.