"Photography is a powerful tool that can be used in a very powerful way, but only if you're committed to your ideals, if you're committed to your passion, you know. Not if you're just doing something because you think that's what everyone is going to underwrite or pay or hire you for."
Karen Kasmauski is a photographer, director and filmmaker who produced 25 major stories for National Geographic Magazine over two decades, on topics including Human Migration, Viruses, Aging and Genetics. Most were based on ideas that she originated and proposed.
Karen's book “NURSE: A World of Care” explores global issues facing the nursing profession and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her previous book “IMPACT: From the Front Lines of Global Health” examines the causes of infectious diseases throughout the world. Former President Jimmy Carter wrote introductions for both books. Karen was a director on the 2015 documentary film “Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight—The Japanese War Brides” aired globally on BBC.
Karen’s travels have taken her from the rainforests of Malaysia to the megacities of India to the North Slope of Alaska. She has covered earthquakes in Japan, been arrested in Africa and exposed to radiation in Russia.
After receiving a Getty Images grant to produce a video on the struggles of an environmental nonprofit group, Karen was awarded a Knight Fellowship to study at Ohio University, where she received an MA in Visual Communication.
As an educator, Karen leads photography tours for National Geographic and other clients in locations ranging from Antarctica to New Guinea to the Galapagos. She teaches classes on video storytelling, photojournalism and news writing at George Washington University, The Corcoran School of Art and George Mason University. She frequently speaks to corporate and non-profit organizations on global health issues. Karen’s photographs have been exhibited at the United States Congress, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Academy of Sciences, Emory University and the National Geographic Society.