Who We Are

Who We Are

Ripple Effect’s extraordinary team of journalists includes a MacArthur Genius fellow, Pulitzer Prize and National Humanities Medal winners, and an Emmy Award winning filmmaker. Teams travel to international hot spots where the role of women in society is entwined with environmental concerns; where conflict and poverty meet dwindling resources, desertification, water scarcity, crop failure, rising sea levels, and the spread of disease.

Our Team

Annie Griffiths
Executive Director/Photographer
Annie Griffiths was one of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic. She has covered women’s issues on six continents, and her work has also been featured in LIFE, Geo, Smithsonian, Time, Stern, and many other publications. Her books include A Camera, Two Kids and a Camel and Last Stand: America’s Virgin Lands, done in partnership with acclaimed author Barbara Kingsolver. Proceeds from the book have raised more than a quarter million dollars for grassroots land conservation. Annie is deeply committed to photographing innovative aid programs around the world. For more than two decades, she has dedicated a portion of each year to documenting the important work of aid organizations. Annie has received awards from the National Press Photographers Association, the Associated Press, the National Organization of Women, and the White House News Photographers Association.
Charlie Belt
Production Manager
Charlie Belt wears many different hats as Ripple’s Production Manager. On any given day he may be editing videos, managing the extraordinary Ripple Archive, writing a script for one of our films, or managing Ripple’s social media feeds. Charlie has a background in video production and conceptualization, graduating Magna Cum Laude from VCU’s highly competitive Visual Arts program. On his own time, he writes and produces short films, is a huge history dork, and a freelance drone pilot!
Nacho Corbella
Video Editor
Be it in the field chasing wild bulls with gauchos in Patagonia or behind the desk editing the lives behind the making of a t-shirt, Nacho’s passion is using storytelling to portray human nature. Video, photo, audio and/or text, his work has been published by National Geographic, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time magazine and Univision. As well, some of his most rewarding assignments have come through UNCHR, working with internally displaced communities as well as refugees around the world.

His stories and projects have been recognized by the Emmys, World Press Photo, POYi, SXSW, Webbys, Alfred du Pont, CPOY and NPPA, among others.

Michael Davie
Documentary Filmmaker
Armed with a global perspective and a burning desire to tell the difficult stories unfolding on the world stage, Michael Davie is one of the freshest voices in documentary filmmaking today. His work includes films on child soldiers in Africa, war refugees in the Balkans, the plight of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, the empowering impact of music in South African prisons, and the effects of the Congo’s brutal civil war on both people and wildlife. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic Television. Michael’s work has earned him multiple awards including two Emmys, the Overseas Press Club’s 66th Edward R. Murrow Award, a New York Film Festival Gold Medal and AFI Best Director Award. He was also awarded the prestigious FIPA Human Rights award by the United Nations.
Renee Harbers
Contributing Photographer
Renee Harbers Liddell always felt drawn to photography, but studied to become an engineer. Her love of photography was persistent, however, and she found herself sneaking down to the dark room in the basement of her dorm at UMass when she should have been working on her Strength of Materials homework.

Ironically, Renee’s career as an engineer at Microsoft would eventually lead her back to a photographic life beyond what she could have imagined. As founder of the Harbers Family Foundation, Renee has presided over and produced dozens of storytelling projects. She has photographed in Madagascar, Suriname, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Rwanda, Peru, Tahiti and New Zealand.

Renee is the Executive Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the International Center of Photography. Additionally, she serves on the photography acquisition committee of Whitney Museum of American Art.

Renee continues to refine her craft, and support the power of storytelling with photography by funding the work of select photographers.

She is proud and honored to share her photographs with Ripple Effect Images.

Lynn Johnson
Lynn is known for her intense, sensitive work. In 30 years as a photojournalist, she has photographed for virtually every major magazine and traveled throughout the world. She now divides her time between magazine assignments and work for various foundations. Lynn says: “As photographers, we witness — unfiltered — the lives of those willing to share their stories, hoping to impact a world they may never visit and strangers who can only imagine their struggles. If there is one constant lesson, it is that we are all connected.” Lynn’s many awards include seven Golden Quills for Photojournalism, four World Press Photography awards, and a prestigious POY — Picture of the Year award.
Barbara Kingsolver
Contributing Writer
Barbara Kingsolver’s lifelong interest in human rights and the environment has taken her on writing assignments to some of the world’s most challenged and hopeful places, from an indigenous-crop preservation farm established by Vandana Shiva in India to Mexican village collectives that protect endangered forests in the Yucatán. Her thirteen published books include nonfiction, poetry, and seven works of fiction. Her novels The Bean Trees, The Poisonwood Bible, among others, have earned literary acclaim and a devoted readership in more than twenty languages. In 2000, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal. In 2010, she was awarded the Orange Prize for her most recent novel, The Lacuna.
Joanna Pinneo
Joanna B. Pinneo’s work is characterized by a respectful portrayal of humanity and dignity of people around the world. Described as sensitive, intuitive and present, Joanna’s strength is photographing the intimate details of daily life. In 32 years Joanna has worked in 66 countries, her photographs appearing in Time, LIFE, Smithsonian, New York Times, Geo, and Stern. Joanna was nominated for a Pulitzer, won an Alfred Eisenstadt award, and featured in National Geographic’s 50 greatest photographs. Her photograph of a child sleeping with its mother in Mali, West Africa graced the cover of National Geographic Magazine and the book Women Photographers at National Geographic. Joanna received a NPPA/Nikon Documentary Sabbatical Grant to develop her project Grrlstories; work dedicated to giving adolescent girls a voice.

Joanna says: “The spirit and force behind my photography is to open avenues of understanding between people and cultures, to inspire positive change out of difficult circumstances.” Joanna received the Harry Chapin award for Women of the World in Mother Jones Magazine and awards from the National Press Photographers and White House News Photographers.

Laura Ruschak
Operations Manager
Laura Ruschak brings her training in film and media production to Ripple Effect Images as the Operations Manager. From organizing crews and directing talent on film sets, to structuring projects plans and working with clients, Laura’s attention to detail and logistical prowess ensures that, whatever the project, it flows smoothly from concept to completion. Before Ripple, Laura immersed herself in the world of freelance filmmaking in addition to working with an international consulting firm, supporting Fortune 100, Fortune 500 companies, startups and NGO’s in cultural change through audio-visual storytelling. She continues to spearhead personal projects on the side and holds the firm belief that great storytelling is essential to reaching any goal, large or small.
John Stanmeyer
John Stanmeyer is a humanist, photojournalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker and field recordist dedicated to social and political issues that define our times.

Over the last decade, John has worked nearly exclusively with National Geographic magazine, producing over 14 stories including 10 covers. Between 1998 and 2008, John was a contract photographer for Time magazine, resulting in 18 covers and hundreds of stories including the war in Afghanistan, the fight for independence in East Timor, and the fall of Suharto in Indonesia.

He is the recipient of the prestigious Robert Capa award (Overseas Press Club), POYi Magazine Photographer of the Year (three times), and numerous World Press, Picture of the Year and NPPA awards. In 2008, his National Geographic cover story on global malaria received the National Magazine Award. In 2012, he was nominated for an Emmy with the documentary film series, Starved for Attention and in 2014 was the recipient of the World Press Photo award for his work in Djibouti.

John has published several books including Island of the Spirits, a journalistic/anthropologic look at Balinese culture documented during the five years he lived on the island.

Ami Vitale
Ami Vitale’s journey as a photojournalist has taken her to more than 75 countries. She has witnessed civil unrest, poverty, destruction of life, and unspeakable violence. But she has also experienced surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit, and she is committed to highlighting the surprising and subtle similarities between cultures. The UN, Human Rights Watch, MSF, Oxfam, the Open Society Institute, and many others have exhibited her photographs around the world.
Ami’s work has garnered awards from World Press Photos, the Photographer of the Year International award, the Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Journalism, Lucie awards, the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting, and the Magazine Photographer of the Year award. Photo District News recognized her as one of 30 image-makers of the future. Ami has been awarded grants including the first-ever Inge Morath grant by the prestigious Magnum Photos, The Canon female photojournalist award for her work in Kashmir, and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace. Ami is a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and is also senior producer for the Knight Center for International Media.