Neil Shea

Neil is an award-winning writer who has recently reported on conflict, refugees and social justice issues in Africa, Europe, and Iraq. His work regularly appears in National Geographic, and he's a contributing editor with The Virginia Quarterly Review and The American Scholar. He's also written for The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The Christian Science Monitor, Nieman Reports, The Providence Journal, Inversion Magazine, and other publications. Neil is a pioneer in social media storytelling, specifically on Instagram, where he has led Nat Geo's effort to develop short-form techniques for its immensely popular feed. 


In 2016 Neil wrote, produced and hosted his first documentary, called “Fighting ISIS,” for the Nat Geo channel. The television episode was based on his original reporting, and he has since returned to Iraq to begin developing a feature documentary with Market Road Films on the Yazidi people, who were the victims of genocide under ISIS. He is also developing a feature doc on one of the world's most diverse refugee camps, a pop-up city home to nearly 200,000 people from some 30 nations. Aside from docs, he has consulted on commerical projects for clients including Rolex, GMC and CBS Sports.


Neil's other work includes creative consulting and teaching. He has recently consulted with Passion Passport and Cathay Pacific Airways on a social media and travel campaign, and he's worked with Atlantic Re:Think on a campaign for Porsche. He has taught workshops for the editorial team at Instagram, and at Harvard's Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Neil has frequently discussed his work on television and radio, and he's been invited to give talks  at universities and conferences, including the Seoul Digital Forum, the Power of Narrative Conference at Boston Univeristy, and the Festival at the University of Bari in Bari, Italy. Neil is a visiting professor of non-ficiton at Sewanee, the University of the South, and he has been an adjunct professor of journalism at Boston University.


Neil has a master's degree in journalism from Boston University, and an undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He also has a certificate in language and cultural studies from Hokkaido University. 


A long time ago, he worked as a carpenter, a wilderness guide, and a park ranger. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.



photo by Stephen Alvarez







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