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Akili-Casundria Ramsess

NPPA
Executive Director
Akili Ramsess became the current Executive Director of NPPA in April 2016. After serving as Director of Photography with the Orlando Sentinel from 2007 through 2011, Akili returned to her family home in the Atlanta area where she continues as an independent photographer, contract photo editor and multimedia producer.

Prior to the Sentinel, Akili worked eight years with the San Jose Mercury News in a variety photo editing roles before eventually becoming their Deputy Director of Photography/Print. During that period she won numerous picture editing and multimedia awards with the Society for News Design (SND), Pictures of the Year International (POYi) and National Press Photographer’s Association’s Best of Photography (BOP) competitions.

In the years prior to her work with the Mercury News, Akili was the Features Photo Editor with the Atlanta Journal & Constitution, which included coverage of the 1996 Olympics. She was the Photo Assignment Editor then interim Director of Photography for the Valley Edition of the Los Angeles Times, where she was a part of the staff that won the Pulitzer for their coverage of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Her start as a photo editor began with the Associated Press Los Angeles bureau. Akili also shares a 1993 Pulitzer in Feature Photography for their portfolio of the 1992 presidential campaign.

Akili began her photojournalism career as a staff photographer with the now defunct Los Angeles Herald Examiner and as a freelance photographer in the Los Angeles area covering news, entertainment and sports for local newspapers, wire services and national magazines.

Akili has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Long Beach. She is on the advisory board and former chair of National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Visual Task Force and served as Photo Team Leader for the NABJ’s Multimedia Student Project for the last decade.