© Dmitry Markov for ROSTOK

© Dmitry Markov for ROSTOK

Catchlight identifies high-quality and innovative visual storytellers around the world and brings resources and community together to direct their work towards critical social issues to drive engagement, awareness and impact. 

© Khaled Hasan for Oxfam Great Britain

© Khaled Hasan for Oxfam Great Britain


Nancy Farese, Founder. Nancy Richards Farese is a social entrepreneur, photographer and philanthropist living in San Francisco and Boston. In 2009 Nancy founded PhotoPhilanthropy to reward and promote visual advocacy storytelling. Today she serves as CEO and Board Chair of Catchlight.io, grounded in a belief of the unique power of photography as an entry point for understanding the critical social issues of our time. Nancy also works as a social documentary photographer, shooting visual narrative for nonprofit storytelling and advocacy. She lectures, teaches and blogs on the use of photography as a social tool and the role of visual storytelling. Current board work includes Southwire Company in Carrollton, Georgia, and KQED Public Media in San Francisco. Nancy is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and The Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

Sahara Borja, Producer. Sahara studied photojournalism at the International Center of Photography. Photography has anchored her engagement in community work, including that as a teacher with the Josephine Herrick Project, a nonprofit based in New York City which uses photography to acclimate young adults on the autism spectrum to their surroundings. Sahara comes to Catchlight after several years as an associate editor and contributing photo editor with a number of online outlets and recently returned from a Fulbright research grant working with internally displaced women on the outskirts of Cartagena. She is interested in collaborative photography practices and their potential to unify and incite.



Board of Directors

Deirdre Atkin Hockett is Co-Founder and Director of Giftlit.com, an online book-of-the month subscription service. With 15+ years of financial services experience, Deirdre has served as Partner and Managing Director at Laurel Management (Hall Capital Partners), and prior to that, as Vice President of Private Client Services and of Corporate Finance for JP Morgan & Company. Deirdre dedicates her time to community-based organizations that advance education, serving as a Board Member for Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, The Little School (San Francisco), San Francisco School Volunteers, and Children’s Garden (San Rafael). Deirdre currently resides in San Francisco.


Stephen Mayes is Executive Director of the Tim Hetherington Trust. He has worked at the top levels of photography for twenty-five years in the areas of journalism, art, commercial and fashion, most recently as CEO of VII photo agency, representing the world's leading photojournalists; he served as Secretary to the World Press Photo competition from 2004 to 2012. He was SVP at Getty Images overseeing the content strategy and later SVP at eyestorm.com, representing high-end artists in the consumer market. Stephen also worked with Art and Commerce as Director of Image Archive. Stephen regularly writes and broadcasts on the ethics and realities of photographic practice in the new digital environment. 


Christopher Michel is a photographer, investor, and entrepreneur. Chris is the founder of Affinity Labs, Military.com and Nautilus Ventures, and serves on the Board of 3D Robotics, Kixeye, Dale Carnegie, and Tugboat Yards. Chris is a prolific photographer, whose collection includes work from the South Pole, Everest, and the edge of space. He’s also the editor at Explorers.com. Chris earned his commission from the NROTC program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, serves as a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and holds an honorary doctorate from Tiffin University.


Robert J. Rosenthal is Executive Director of The Center for Investigative Reporting. An award-winning journalist, Robert has worked for The New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer and, most recently, the San Francisco Chronicle, where he served as Managing Editor. His awards include the Overseas Press Club Award, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for distinguished foreign correspondence, and the National Association of Black Journalists Award for Third World Reporting. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in international reporting, and a four time Pulitzer judge. He has taught at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Advisory Council

Phil Borges, Award Winning Photographer, Humanitarian, Founder of Bridges to Understanding, Stirring The Fire and Blue Earth Alliance For 20+ years Phil Borges has documented indigenous and tribal cultures around the world. He has worked on projects with Amnesty International, Discovery and National Geographic. More recently, Phil’s work has included the project Stirring the Fire, a resource devoted to promoting gender equality worldwide. He’s the founder of Bridges to Understanding, and Blue Earth Alliance. In 2007 American Photo magazine named him one of the “10 photographers that inspire us.” Phil graduated from the University of California as a Regents Scholar in 1969. He’s currently based in Seattle.


David Burnett, Award Winning Photojournalist and Co-Founder of Contact Press Images
David Burnett has worked as a photographer in over 80 countries, documenting the Vietnam War, the coup in Chile (1973), revolution in Iran (1979), famine in Ethiopia (1984), the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), and the US military intervention in Haiti (1994). He’s the co-founder of Contact Press Images. He’s also a recipient of the Robert Capa Gold Medal and the World Press Photo “Press Photo of the Year.” A veteran journalist of the political scene in Washington, he has photographed every American president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. He’s currently based in the New York area.


Valenda Campbell, Director of Photography and Manager of Brand and Creative Productions, CARE International
Valenda Campbell is Director of Photography and Manager of the brand and creative productions teams for CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization. She conceives and directs photo commissions that put a human face on global poverty, while connecting donors and the public to CARE’s work. In 2004, Valenda created CARE’s partnership with photographer Phil Borges, to develop the “Women Empowered Project.” This led to the publication of the book, Women Empowered: Inspiring Change in the Emerging World, as well as a traveling exhibition and four short documentary films. Before joining CARE in 2001, Campbell spent 15 years as a photojournalist.


Lou Desiderio, President and Founder of Synergy Communications, Inc.
Lou Desiderio is the President and Founder of Synergy Communications, Inc., a public relations and marketing communications agency specializing in photography and consumer electronics. Over the last 28 years, Lou has held a number of positions in the photo, technology, and consumer electronics industries, including Editor of Studio Photography magazine, Public Relations Director at Polaroid Corporation and Olympus America, and Senior Vice President at Saatchi & Saatchi Rowland. Lou established the Desiderio Family Charities to help feed and house the homeless on Long Island.


Richard Koci Hernandez, Emmy Award-winning Video and Multimedia Producer
Richard Koci Hernandez has been a photojournalist at the San Jose Mercury News for 15 years. His work has appeared in Time, Wired, The New York Times, a National Geographic book and elsewhere. In 2008, Richard received a national Emmy in the New Approaches to Documentary category for Executive Producer work on the Mercury News video Uprooted. In 2003, Richard was awarded the James K. Batten Knight Ridder Excellence Award, and he has earned two Pulitzer Prize nominations. He’s a San Francisco State University journalism graduate, and is currently an Assistant Professor for New Media at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.


Keith Jenkins, Director of Photography for National Geographic Digital
Keith Jenkins oversees National Geographic Society’s online photographic presence and staff. Previously, Keith was the former Supervising Senior Producer for Media at NPR. Prior to that, he spent 13 years at The Washington Post, and was the first photography director at washingtonpost.com and AOL. Jenkins is a distinguished speaker on photography and multimedia, and has won numerous awards, including those from the National Press Photographer’s Association, the Society of News Design, the Society of Publication Designers, The National Association of Black Journalists, and the Art Director’s Clubs of New York, Boston, and Washington. Jenkins has a law degree from Boston University.


Beth Kanter, Award-winning Blogger and Author
Beth Kanter is the author of Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media, one of the longest running and most popular blogs for nonprofits. Beth has 30+ years working in the nonprofit sector in technology, training, capacity building, evaluation, fundraising, and marketing. She has co-authored two books: The Networked Nonprofit, which received Honorable Mention for the Terry McAdams Award, and Measuring the Networked Nonprofit. Both books reached #1 on Amazon’s nonprofit books list. Fast Company Magazine named her one of the most influential women in technology and one of Business Week’s “Voices of Innovation for Social Media.”


Ed Kashi, Award-winning Photojournalist and Member of VII Photo Agency
Ed Kashi is a photojournalist dedicated to documenting the social and political issues defining our times. In addition to taking on editorial assignments, filmmaking and personal projects, Ed is an educator, mentoring photography students and lecturing on photojournalism and multimedia storytelling. Ed’s numerous awards include Second Prize Contemporary Issues Singles in the 2011 World Press Photo Contest, UNICEF’s Photo of the Year, a Prix Pictet Commission, and honors from Pictures of the Year International, Communication Arts and American Photography. His images have been published and exhibited worldwide, and his editorial and personal projects have generated seven books.


Nion McEvoy, Chairman & CEO of Chronicle Books LLC and The McEvoy Group LLC
Nion McEvoy joined Chronicle Books in 1986, and served as Editor-in-Chief of the adult trade division until acquiring the company through The McEvoy Group, which also includes becker&mayer! LLC, Spin magazine, and McEvoy Media, which publishes 7×7 magazine and California Home & Design. He is a Commissioner for the Smithsonian American Art Museum and currently serves on the boards of SFJAZZ, the UCSC Foundation and SFMOMA, where Chairs the Photography Accessions Committee. Nion is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz and Hastings College of the Law. He also plays drums in the rock band Rough Draft.


Kristin Morse, Chief Online Marketing and Client Experience Officer for NestWise
Kristin Morse builds client relationships and experiences at NestWise, a financial services start-up focused on providing financial planning and advice to the under-served middle class. Kristin has 20+ years of general management, product management and marketing experience in financial services and eCommerce – in both large corporations and start-ups. She has worked at companies such as McKinsey and Charles Schwab, and is committed to providing the information and resources that empower individuals to make positive changes in their financial lives.


Sandra S. Phillips, Senior Curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Sandra Phillips has organized numerous critically-acclaimed exhibitions of modern and contemporary photography in her senior role at SF MOMA, including Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera Since 1870, Diane Arbus Revelations, Dorothea Lange: American Photographs, and An Uncertain Grace: Sebastião Salgado. Previously curator at the Vassar College Art Museum, Sandra has taught at various institutions, including the State University of New York at New Paltz, Parsons School of Design, San Francisco State University, and the San Francisco Art Institute. Sandra holds a Ph.D. from the City University of New York, an M.A. from Bryn Mawr College, and a B.A. from Bard College.


Chris Rainier, National Geographic Society Fellow, Documentarian of Endangered Cultures and Traditional Language Loss
With a 30-year career in photography, Chris has completed projects for The United Nations, UNESCO, Amnesty International, Conservation International, Smithsonian Institution, Time Magazine, The New York Times, and the National Geographic Society. During his tenure with National Geographic, Chris co-founded the Enduring Voices Language Preservation Project and the All Roads Photography Program. Chris lectures throughout the world on the use of modern technology to preserve ancient cultural stories and language. He received the Lowell Thomas Award of the Explorer’s Club in 2002 for his efforts on cultural preservation, and he was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society of London.