Ami Vitale

National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit—all in keeping with her philosophy of “living the story.” She has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. She has turned her lens to compelling wildlife stories, such as returning critically endangered species like the giant pandas back to the wild, and efforts to save the last northern white rhinos from extinction. She is executive director of Vital Impacts which supports organizations protecting wildlife and the environment.