In the first installment of series ‘Decision Makers’, David Alan Harvey sat down and interviewed Award-winning Editor, Chris Johns of National Geographic.
Harvey and Johns have both attended the Summit Workshop as faculty in past years. Rich Clarkson, in fact, hired Johns to his first internship as a photo assistant that led to his illustrious career. Below is a brief bio of Chris. Also, you can read the interview at burn.
Chris Johns was named editor in chief of National Geographic magazine in January 2005. He is the ninth editor of the magazine since its founding in 1888. His extensive redesign of the magazine and focus on excellence in photojournalism and reporting have revitalized the magazine into a timely, relevant read for people looking for deeper insight into environmental and energy issues, world cultures, science and the natural world.
Johns’ editorial efforts have been recognized with 13 National Magazine Awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors in the past five years, most recently for Magazine of the Year and Single-Topic Issue in 2011.
Born in Medford, Ore., Johns began his career in photojournalism when he joined the Topeka Capital-Journal as a staff photographer in 1975; in 1979 he was named National Newspaper Photographer of the Year. In 1983, after three years on the Seattle Times as picture editor and special projects photographer, he embarked on a freelance career and worked for Life, Time and National Geographic magazines.
Johns’ books include “Valley of Life: Africa’s Great Rift” (1991), “Hawaii’s Hidden Treasures” (1993) and “Wild at Heart: Man and Beast in Southern Africa” (2002). He wrote the foreword for “In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits” (2004) and the introduction to the National Geographic book “100 Days in Photographs: Pivotal Events That Changed the World” (October 2007).
Chris was awarded an honorary doctorate from Indiana University in 2010. He studied photography at the University of Minnesota and holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism with a minor in agriculture from Oregon State University.
He lives on a farm in Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children.