David Guttenfelder is one of only a handful of National Geographic photography fellows. He worked for 20 years as a photojournalist for the Associated Press based in Nairobi, Abidjan, New Delhi, Jerusalem, and Tokyo covering geopolitical news in more than 75 countries around the world. In 2011, he helped the AP open a bureau in North Korea, the first western news agency to have an office in the otherwise-isolated country.
In addition to stories about conflict and drug wars, Guttenfelder has covered major conservation stories, including the plight of refugees spawned by Japan’s Fukushima nuclear meltdown, the damming of the Mekong River in Southeast Asia, and the slaughter of migratory songbirds in the Mediterranean for food, profit, and sport.
Among his numerous accolades, Guttenfelder is a seven-time World Press Photo Award winner, has been named Photojournalist of the Year by both Pictures of the Year and National Press Photographers Association, and is a seven-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Guttenfelder is also recognized as an industry leader in smartphone photography and social media. He was named 2014 Instagram Photographer of the Year by Time magazine.
Born in Iowa, he graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in cultural anthropology, African studies, and journalism.