Director of Photography, National Geographic Magazine and National Geographic Partners
Sarah Leen is the director of photography for National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Partners. For nearly 20 years she worked as a freelance photographer for National Geographic magazine until she joined the staff as a senior photo editor in 2004.
Leen supervises all visual content and staff for National Geographic magazine, National Geographic Traveler magazine, the online News site, the Proof photography blog and the Your Shot photography community.
Leen graduated with a B.A. in fine arts in 1974 from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and continued with graduate studies at the Missouri School of Journalism. She was the College Photographer of the Year in 1979 and worked as a staff photographer for both the Topeka Capital Journal and the Philadelphia Inquirer until 1988. She published 16 stories and had five covers in National Geographic magazine as a photographer.
In 2010, Leen curated the National Geographic exhibit “Water: Our Thirsty World” at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, and, in 2013, she curated “The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years” at the Annenberg Space.
Leen has won numerous awards for her photography both in the Pictures of the Year (POYi) and the World Press Photos competitions. In 2007 and 2008, she won first place Magazine Picture Editing Portfolio from POYi, and she earned second place in 2011. Her team of photo editors has twice won the Angus MacDougall Overall Excellence in Editing Award from the POYi competition.