Christopher Michel is the inaugural Artist-in-Residence at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. His appointment is focused on leveraging visual storytelling to elevate the work of scientists, engineers, and medical professionals in society. Chris has spent many years working with the National Academies on science communications. He has been a member of the President’s Circle and on the advisory board of the Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS). In addition to his current appointment, he currently serves as an advisor to the Climate Communications Initiative.
Chris is an accomplished photographer, who has documented humans working in extreme locations like the North & South Poles, Everest, Papua New Guinea, DR Congo and the edge of space (aboard a U-2 Spy Plane). He’s also had the opportunity to photograph many global leaders, including as the photographer for the 14th Dalai Lama.
His high-impact images have been seen by millions and have appeared broadly in print and in everything from Google screensavers to album covers. He has published a number of fine art books and is currently working on his latest book with travel writer, Pico Iyer.
Chris is a photography instructor at Esalen and also an adventure guide with Natural World Safaris, leading trips in the Polar regions. Chris works closely with Leica having recently completed an exhibition of his work at Leica Stores nationwide. Additionally, he was an ambassador for the launch of Leica’s acclaimed SL2 camera.
Previously, Chris founded and sold two technology companies. He is also the founder of Nautilus Ventures, a seed venture fund. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Chris flew for the Navy as a Navigator and Mission Commander aboard P-3C patrol aircraft.
Chris graduated from the University of Illinois and holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an honorary Doctorate from Tiffin University. Chris serves on the board of Dale Carnegie and Catchlight, a non-profit focused on supporting photographers and innovative leaders in the field of visual storytelling. Chris is also an advisor to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, and a member of the Explorers Club.