Who we are and what we do

The VII Foundation is an independent, charitable media and education non-profit organization. It was founded by Ron Haviv and Gary Knight in 2001 when they recognized that media funding for long term projects was diminishing.  In order to continue to produce work that addressed complex social, economic and human rights issues they started the Foundation as an independent non-profit structure to secure support for continuing documentary practice and education.

The VII Foundation resides at 429 W 45th St,  New York, NY 10036 USA and is a charitable 501C3 non profit entity registered with the Internal Revenue Service.  EIN No 510427657.


Directors

Gary Knight

Gary is co-founder and principle architect of the VII Photo Agency. 

Gary is a consultant to the World Press Photo Foundation; member of the Board of Trustees of the Frontline Club, London; co-founder  of The GroundTruth Project, Boston; founding Director of the Program for Narrative & Documentary Practice at the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University, twice Chair and President of the World Press Photo Award; was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2009 and is  a photographer. 

http://www.garyknight.org

Ron Haviv

Ron Haviv is co-founder of the VII Photo Agency. He has dedicated his career to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues around the globe.

In the last three decades, Haviv has covered more than twenty-five conflicts and worked in over one hundred countries. He has published four critically acclaimed collections of photography.  His work, which has won numerous awards has been featured in  museums and galleries worldwide.

http://www.ronhaviv.com


Board of Trustees

Whitney Bower. Founder and Managing Partner of Noble Rock Advisors. USA.

Jennifer Stengaard Gross. Founder the Blue Chip Foundation. USA.

Justin McKie. Commercial Director of Goodhart Partners. England.

Ted Nelson. Founder, CEO and Strategy, Mechanica. USA.

Board of Advisors

Kiku Adatto. Author, scholar and lecturer at Harvard University.  USA.

Shahidul Alam. Photographer, writer, curator and activist.  Bangladesh.

Lisa Botos. Cultural producer, curator and former gallerist. Singapore.

Annie Boulat. Founder and Director of Cosmos Photo Agency. France.

Danielle Jackson. Co-founder of the Bronx Documentary Center, curator and author. USA.

Terri Lichstein. Television journalist, producer and broadcaster. ABC News. USA.

Santiago Lyon. Former Vice President and Director of Photography of the Associated Press. USA. 

Peter Maass. Author and journalist. USA.

Boris Munoz. Op Ed Editor, of The New York Times, Latin American edition. USA.

Rod Nordland. Correspondent-At-Large and Bureau Chief, The New York Times. Afghanistan.

Ilana Ozernoy. Vice President and Deputy Head of Communications at News Corp. USA.

Hillary Roberts. Research Curator of Photography at Imperial War Museums. England. 

Vaughan Smith. Founder of the Frontline Club, London, Journalist. England.

Sujong Song. Curator. South Korea.

Maggie Steber. Documentary photographer. USA.

Sherman Teichman. Founding Director Emeritus, The Institute for Global Leadership, Tufts University. USA.

Anne Wilkes Tucker. Curator Emerita of the Museum of Fine Arts. USA.


Board of Trustees

Whitney Bower

Whit is the Founder and Managing Partner of Noble Rock Advisors, a private equity firm investing in the technology, media, communications and business services industries.  Noble Rock invests directly and in partnership with leading European investor, HgCapital.

Over his 20 year investment career, Whit has been a senior investment professional with 3i plc, Bain Capital, and Geocapital Partners, leading investments and investment teams in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.  He has been fortunate to work with talented innovators in disruptive companies such as Netscape, NextGenTel ASA, and Realtor.com, as well as with dynamic executives at market-leading businesses such as JDA Software, Gain Capital, and Sovos Compliance.  

Whit is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.  He began his career as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, serving as an agricultural economist with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture.  He continues his involvement in economic development and international affairs as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Jennifer Stengaard Gross

Jennifer founded the Blue Chip Foundation in 2015 which focuses on alleviating extreme poverty in the developing world, education in the United States, and social enterprise in Los Angeles. She serves on the Leadership Council of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and is a founding member of SDG USA. She is a member of The Gross Family Foundation which has donated to Mercy Ships, Doctors Without Borders, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Duke University, UCI Stem Cell Research Center, Sue and Bill Gross Women’s Pavillion at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Sue and Bill Gross Surgery and Procedure Center at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, and The Teachers of Orange County.

She also serves on the board for the Association of Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Duke Global Health Institute, Millennium Promise and LA Kitchen. She is partnering with PixHug which is a social media platform designed to bring money to charitable campaigns through member participation. Prior to joining PixHug, She owned a physical therapy clinic in Beverly Hills and  has 10 years of philanthropic and business experience and earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University.

Justin McKie

Justin is the Commercial Director of Goodhart Partners, an asset management company based in London. Having completed a graduate programme at Deutsche Asset Management, Justin spent 10 years at the US investment & consultancy firm – Russell Investments in various leadership roles focused on business development. Latterly, he was responsible for establishing Coronation Asset Management’s institutional business outside Africa, before joining Goodhart Partners in late 2013.  

He has always had a deep interest in photography and has had a 10-year engagement with VII Photo Agency. Whilst photography remains a committed hobby, over the years Justin has had images published in various newspapers, magazines and books. He is also an accomplished athlete, having competed in various international long-distance triathlon races as well as cycling at a national level. 

Justin is chair of an environmental and health lobby group, focused on improving transport and sports infrastructure within London. He holds a BA Hons in Finance and Law

Ted Nelson

Founder, CEO and Head of Strategy, Mechanica. Ted is one of three founding partners who conceived and launched branding agency Mechanica. His responsibilities include contributing to the building and management of a next-generation business model and organization, as well as general strategic oversight across Mechanica’s clients and businesses.

Prior to launching Mechanica, Ted spent eight years as the Managing Partner/Brand Strategy Director at Mullen. Ted’s specific responsibilities at Mullen included building and managing an award winning brand strategy and customer analytics group, which contributed to the brand development and customer acquisition and retention strategies of brands as varied as General Motors, Disney, Sony, Coca-Cola, Nextel, Lending Tree, Oxygen Media, Monster.com and Genuity.

Prior to joining Mullen, Ted honed his skills while working at Chiat/Day on both coasts, with strategic responsibilities for a diverse set of clients including Reebok, Intel, Dell, Coca-Cola, and Nynex. Following Chiat/Day, he launched the brand strategy discipline within Anderson & Lembke, then the world’s largest business-to-business specialist agency with offices in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

Ted is a five-time EFFIE award recipient for communications effectiveness. He served for a number of years on the national brand planning board and was awarded an EPIC award honoring culture changers.


Board of Advisors

Kiku Adatto

Kiku  is an award-winning teacher at Harvard University and an author, scholar and commentator on art, popular culture, and civic life. She is currently a Scholar-in-Residence at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard and teaches in Harvard’s interdisciplinary Social Studies Program.  She has taught and written about art, literature, media, politics and the changing culture of childhood at Harvard University as an Assistant Professor in Harvard’s Department of Sociology and as a faculty member and fellow at the Kennedy School of Government.

Her book, Picture Perfect: Life in the Age of the Photo Op (Princeton Press, 2008), explores the use and abuse of images in photography, television, movies and on the Internet. Her past writings on the media helped spark a national debate on presidential campaign coverage in the United States. Adatto’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Republic, Time Magazine, the Huffington Post, See magazine, and other national publications.  She and her husband Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel are leading an international storytelling and civic education project for children. 

Shahidul Alam

A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul obtained a PhD in chemistry before switching to photography. His numerous awards include the Mother Jones Award for Documentary Photography which he received for his ongoing work on the people’s democratic struggle in Bangladesh. After three terms as president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam stepped down to set up the Bangladesh Photographic Institute, the award winning Drik agency, the Chobi Mela festival, the Majority World agency and Pathshala, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. He has been a guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery, National Art Gallery Malaysia, Musee de Quai Branly and Brussels Biennale, Alam was given the Shilpakala Award in 2015, the highest state honour given to Bangladeshi artists.

A speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge universities and top museums, as well as TEDx, POPTech and National Geographic, Alam has been a jury member in prestigious international contests, including World Press Photo, which he chaired. Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, Alam is a visiting professor of Sunderland University in UK and advisory board member of National Geographic Society and Eugene Smith Fund. John Morris, the former picture editor of Life Magazine, describes his book “My journey as a witness” as “The most important book ever written by a photographer.”

Lisa Botos

Lisa is a cultural producer, curator and former gallerist. Based in Singapore, she founded Botos, an arts-related, project-orientated initiative with a focus on independent and collaborative curatorial projects, publishing, and advisory. Along with curating exhibitions and producing catalogues, she also develops and manages art projects, programming and events in Singapore, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and in the USA. In 2008, she co-founded Ooi Botos, a Hong Kong-based, avant-garde contemporary art gallery. Prior, she was head of photography for Time magazine in Asia. Botos served as an international curator for the Vladivostok Biennale of Visual Arts 2013 and on the advisory counsel for Photo Shanghai.

Annie Boulat

Annie  is the Founder and  Director of Cosmos Photo Agency in Paris which was established in 1979 and the Founder of Cosmos Gallerie. She is the President of the Association Pierre & Alexandra Boulat created in 2007 in memory of her husband, Life Magazine Photographer Pierre Boulat, and her daughter, VII co-founder Alexandra Boulat. Annie is a board member of the worlds leading Photojournalism Festival, the Association Visa pour l’Image and a member of the directing committee of Centre International du Photojournalisme.

Annie has had a long and distinguished career in photography and journalism, working with Sipa Press, Time Life Books, Abrams, and Contact Press Images. Annie and her family are central to the creation and identity of the VII Photo Agency.

Danielle Jackson

Danielle has worked with leading photographers, filmmakers, and cultural institutions to develop projects, partnerships, and initiatives for social impact. She has worked with Magnum Photos, Stanford University, NYU, WNYC, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, MoMA, Tribeca Film Institute, and Open Society Foundations.

She is the co-founder and former co-director of the Bronx Documentary Center, an internationally-recognized gallery dedicated to photography and social change. Her projects have been covered in media outlets including CBS Evening News, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, Slate, New York Magazine, The Guardian, among others. She currently teaches for Stanford in New York and the  International Center of Photography.

Terri Lichstein

Terri  is an award-winning television journalist, senior producer, broadcaster, with nearly 30 years of network news experience covering some of the biggest domestic and international stories that have occurred over the last three decades. 

Terri has spent the last 14 years as a senior producer for ABC News Magazines, primarily “20/20,” where she manages daily producer assignments, freelance hires, as well as all digital and social content for ABC News platforms. Prior to that she was based overseas in the ABC News London Bureau for nearly ten years.

Terri has crisscrossed the globe for some of the most important stories of our time and organized interviews with evasive and complicated world leaders like Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and former President Saddam Hussein, just three months before he invaded Kuwait, the beginning of a period of long wars in Iraq.  

Terri's skills have enabled her to get rare access — not just to world leaders but to communities and individuals whose stories might otherwise remain untold. As a result, her enthusiasm for storytelling has captivated audiences for three decades. Her ability to calmly and decisively direct coverage under pressure has enabled her to produce exceptional journalism which has earned numerous awards, including Emmy, Peabody, and DuPont-Columbia recognition. Ms. Lichstein was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Santiago Lyon

Santiago was, most recently, Vice President and Director of Photography of The Associated Press, responsible for the AP’s global photo report and the hundreds of photographers and photo editors around the world who produce it. He has 32 years of experience in news-service photography and has won multiple photojournalism awards for his coverage of conflict.

Santiago was a Nieman fellow at Harvard University and Sulzberger fellow at Columbia University. He joined the AP in 1991, after working for United Press International and Reuters. Under his direction, the AP earned three of its 31 Pulitzer Prizes for photography, for work on the war in Iraq, tensions on the West Bank, and the Syrian civil war.

He was the jury chair for the 2013 World Press Photo Awards, taught at the 2010 Joop Swart Master Class and currently serves on the board of the Eddie Adams Workshop.

Peter Maass

Peter has written about war, media, and national security for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post. He reported on both civilians and combatants during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the author of Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War, an award-winning memoir about the conflict in Bosnia, and he wrote Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil. Peter, awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012, has focused most recently on government and corporate surveillance, and is working on a book about surveillance for Alfred A. Knopf. He has taught writing at Princeton and Columbia universities, and he has been awarded fellowships at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard and the American Academy in Berlin. He is on the advisory boards of the Solutions Journalism Network, and the Program for Narrative and Documentary Practice at Tufts University. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, he lives in New York City.

Boris Munoz

Boris is the Op Ed Editor of The New York Times, Latin American edition. He is a Venezuelan journalist and author of several books, including: La ley de la calle, testimonios de jóvenes protagonistas de la violencia en Caracas (Fundarte 1995), Más allá de la ciudad letrada, Crónicas y espacios urbanos (University of Pittsburgh Press) and Despachos del imperio (Random House 2007). Muñoz was Editor-in-chief of Exceso magazine. 

Boris Muñoz was Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2009. He is a Ph.D in Hispanic American Literature from Rutgers University. 

In 2000 he received the Fellowship of the Humanities Institute at Dartmouth College and the First Accésit of the Premio Internacional de Periodismo Fernando Lázaro Carreter in Madrid.

 

Rod Nordland

Rod has worked as a foreign correspondent in more than 150 countries and has been variously posted in Bangkok, Beirut, Baghdad, Cairo, Rome, Sarajevo, San Salvador, Islamabad, London and Kabul. Now international correspondent at large for The New York Times, he is based in Afghanistan as the paper's Kabul bureau chief.

He came to The Times from Newsweek, where he was the magazine’s chief foreign correspondent, based in London, Beirut and Baghdad. During three decades abroad, he has covered every war that involved Americans and several that did not. He began his foreign reporting career for his hometown paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, covering the Far East and Central America in the 1980s.

Rod was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for news, and he was also a finalist for a Pulitzer in international reporting from Southeast Asia; he won two George Polk awards; several Overseas Press Club awards; the 2013 Heywood Broun Award; and a score of others. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 1989. the recipient of the Signet Medal from the Signet Society at Harvard in 2016, and is a member of the advisory board of the Tufts University Program for Narrative and Documentary Practice, the National Press Club in Washington and the Associazione della Stampa Estera in Italia.

He is the author of the nonfiction book “The Lovers: Afghanistan’s Romeo & Juliet,” published in January 2016 by Ecco/HarperCollins in New York.

Ilana Ozernoy

Ilana is Vice President and Deputy Head of Communications at News Corp. Previously, she was Chief of Staff to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Counsel, where she worked on a range of policy issues including universal broadband access, civil and human rights, and gender equity. 

Before joining the de Blasio administration, Ozernoy was a tenure-track journalism professor at Stony Brook University, where she led the establishment of the Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting.

For over a decade, Ozernoy worked as a journalist and war correspondent. She was a staff writer for The Atlantic, a staff foreign correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, and a radio correspondent for Marketplace. Weeks after 9/11, she traveled to Afghanistan to cover the U.S.-led battle against the Taliban. In 2002, she co-authored the essay and photo book “Afghanistan: The Road to Kabul.” From 2003-05, she covered the war in Iraq for U.S. News, where she established and ran the magazine’s Baghdad bureau. 

Hilary Roberts

Hilary is Research Curator of Photography at Imperial War Museums (IWM), Britain’s national museum of modern conflict.  She studied at the University of Sussex, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg i. Breisgau (Germany) and University College London before joining IWM’s Photograph Archive as a junior curator in 1980. As the Archive’s Head Curator (1996 – 2013), she oversaw the development of IWM’s photographic collections which now number in excess of 12 million images.

A specialist in the history and practice of conflict photography, Hilary has numerous publications to her name, including The Great War: A Photographic Narrative (Jonathan Cape/Knopf, 2013), a highly praised overview of photography in the First World War.  Recent exhibition and publishing projects for IWM include Don McCullin: Shaped by War (2010-2012), Cecil Beaton: Theatre of War (2012) and Lee Miller: A Woman’s War (2015 – 2016).

Hilary works closely with photographers, curators, researchers and writers who document or respond to contemporary conflict.   In recent years, she has collaborated with Daniel Alexander, Matthew Arnold, Edward Barber, Angus Boulton, Edmund Clark, Lee Craker, Nick Danziger, Melanie Friend, Mike Moore and Donovan Wylie.  Hilary is currently working with Sergey Ponomarev (winner of the 2016 World Press Photo and Pulitzer Prize awards) on his first British solo exhibition at IWM London in 2017. 

Vaughan Smith

Vaughan founded the Frontline Club in London in 2003 as an institution to champion independent journalism.

During the 1990's he founded and ran Frontline Television News, an agency that represented the interests of freelance video journalists. Since 1988 Vaughan has filmed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo and elsewhere, including the only uncontrolled or unembedded footage of the Gulf War in 1991 while disguised as a British Army officer. Prior to his career in journalism Vaughan was an officer in the Grenadier Guards. 

His home was refuge to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for thirteen months in 2011/12

Sujong Song

Sujong is a Seoul-based curator who is active in all aspects of photography, from publication to exhibition and events planning. She started her career with Geo Korea in 1996, where she worked as editor-in-chief and director of photography from 2000 until 2004.  Until 2014, she had been on the steering committee for the Daegu Photo Biennale, and was a director of its portfolio review section. Sujong is co-founder and co-director of Seoul Lunar Photo, Seoul, South Korea She organized Five Views from Korea at the Noorderlicht Gallery in 2014, Two Moons at the GoEun Museum of Photography in 2015 and the Map of Daily Life at the Art Museum of Lishui in 2015, among numerous exhibitions. She was also a commissioner for the 2016 Dak’Art in Senegal. 

She was on the judging panels for World Press Photo and POYi among various photography awards and is also nominators for several award and program including Prix Pictet and Joop Swart masterclass. Sujong currently writes a column on photography for the daily Kyunghyang Shinmun and was formerly the editor-in-chief of GEO-Korea.

Maggie Steber

Maggie has worked as a documentary photographer in 62 countries. Her longtime work in Haiti received the prestigious Alicia Patterson Foundation Grant and the Ernst Haas Grant.

A collection of the Haiti photographs was published as a book called “Dancing on Fire: Photographs from Haiti”, by Aperture. She was a contract photographer for Newsweek Magazine and worked for the Associated Press in New York as a photo editor. She served as Assistant Managing Editor of Photography and Features at the Miami Herald from 1999-2003 and guided the photo projects to become Pulitzer Prize finalists twice and a third time as winner. In 2007, she received a grant from the Knight Foundation to design a new newspaper prototype through the new Knight Center for International Media at the University of Miami. In 2010, for the 3rd time, she was invited as a teacher at the World Press Photo Foundation’s Joop Swart classes. In 2008, she was honored guest speaker at the formal gathering of distinguished guests in Amsterdam.

She has exhibited her work worldwide and has been awarded some of the most prestigious peer reviewed awards in photography. Her work appears regularly in National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times, Smithsonian, The Guardian of London and many other American and European publications. Her photographs are included in numerous museum and private collections including the Library of Congress. She has served as judge for World Press Photo Foundation and the Alicia Patterson Foundation as well as for other photographic and competitions.

Sherman Teichman

Sherman Teichman is the Founding Director (Emeritus since 2016) of the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University, which he led for more than three decades. 

Mr. Teichman is currently a Senior Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy of the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Research Associate in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Liechtenstein Institute for Strategic Development. He has had a distinguished career working on diverse issues including international terrorism, the Israel-Palestine dispute, 21st century conflict, civil-military relations, and global health and security. 

Mr. Teichman is a board member and strategic adviser for several organizations including the Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, the Human Rights Foundation, Refuge Point, Combatants for Peace, the Council for European Studies, and the Mind/Brain Center on War and Humanity.

Anne Wilkes Tucker

Anne is the curator emerita of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, having, in 1976, become founding curator of the photography department for which she acquired 35,000 photographs made on all seven continents. She curated or co-curated over 40 exhibitions, most with accompanying catalogues, including surveys on the Czech Avant-garde, the history of Japanese photography, and the history of war photography. 

Anne has also contributed articles to over 150 magazines, books and other catalogues and has lectured throughout the North and South America, Europe and Asia. Her honors, fellowships, and awards include being selected as “American’s Best Curator” by Time Magazine in 2001 in an issue devoted to America’s Best.