Sarah Leen is the Director of Photography for the National Geographic Magazine and Partners. For nearly 20 years she worked as a freelance photographer for the National Geographic magazine until she joined the staff as a senior photo editor in 2004.
Leen supervises all visual content and photography staff for the National Geographic magazine, Traveler magazine, the natgeo.com website and the @natgeo Instagram site.
Leen graduated with a BA in Fine Arts in 1974 from the University of Missouri, Columbia and continued with graduate studies at the Missouri School of Journalism. Leen 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 the National Geographic magazine as a photographer. In 2010 Leen curated the National Geographic’s exhibit Water is Life at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles and in 2013 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 competition. In 2007 and 2008 she won first place Magazine Picture Editing Portfolio from POYi and second place in 2011. Her team of photo editors has twice won the Angus MacDougall Overall Excellence in Editing Award from the POYi competition.