Mike Davis holds the Alexia Tsairis Chair for Documentary Photography at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. As such, he teaches advanced storytelling classes, runs the Alexia Foundation Grants competition, creates special initiatives and continues to work with photographers the world over as a picture editor.
Before that, he was a full-time independent picture editor who worked with photographers to elevate their photography for portfolios, projects, gallery shows, books and contest and grant submissions. Projects he edited during this period were recognized at Perpignan’s festival, LOOK3, were published widely and won many of the world’s major competitions.
Mike has been a picture editor and visual leader at National Geographic magazine, The White House and several of America’s leading newspapers for nearly 30 years.
Mike was twice named newspaper picture editor of the year and has edited the work of several photographers of the year, including first and second place newspaper photographers of the year three times and magazine photographer of the year twice.
He has taught at workshops including Newhouse Fall Workshop, the Missouri Workshop, Mountain People’s workshop, Santa Fe Workshops, The Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, Northern Short Course, New Zealand Photofest and Somos Foto in Ecuador and The Dominican Republic, and twice was a roving reviewer during Photolucida. He has lectured at a range of universities.
Mike has judged POYi several times, as well as many other photojournalism contests and been a jury member of the W. Eugene Smith grant, The RFK Journalism Awards, The Nikon Sabbatical, The Walkley Awards and others. He holds a masters degree in visual journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Mike grew up in a small town in Nebraska.