Gary E. Swanson is founding judge of the IAFOR Open Film Competition, now the IAFOR Documentary Film Award. He has a very impressive background in broadcast and photojournalism and is returning as a judge for this year’s competition.
Swanson is an internationally recognized and highly acclaimed photojournalist, documentary and news producer, director, editor, educator, speaker and consultant. He has given numerous keynote speeches, served as chair at conferences, presented workshops and lectured at embassies, festivals, and universities throughout China, South Africa, India, Papua New Guinea, Japan, Korea, The Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Greece, Italy, Germany, Jordan, Spain, Portugal, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Professor Swanson is currently the Mildred S. Hansen Endowed Chair and Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence at the University of Northern Colorado, USA. Swanson is a three-time Fulbright Scholar to Portugal and the People’s Republic of China. He covered the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain for NBC News, and in 2008 was Commentator for China Central Television International (CCTV-9) and their live coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games. Professor Swanson continued his on-air work with CCTV-4 as distinguished live guest and commentator in London the summer of 2012. Previously, Swanson was Professor and Director of Television for nine years at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has also taught at DePauw University in Indiana and at Elon University in North Carolina. He has been an educator for 22 years.
Prior to his work in academe, Swanson compiled a distinguished professional broadcast career spanning 13 years at NBC News – producing award-winning documentaries, prime-time news magazine stories, and covering “breaking news” in 26 states and Canada for the network – including trips and campaigns of presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
Swanson has earned more than 80 awards for broadcast excellence and photojournalism including three national Emmy’s, the duPont Columbia Award, two CINE “Golden Eagles,” 16 TELLY’s, the Monte Carlo International Award, the Hamburg International Media Festival’s Globe Award, the 2011 Communitas Outstanding Professor and Educator award, the 2012 Professor of the Year Award, and many others.
His photography has won numerous awards and his works have been published in Travel+Leisure, Frommers, PDN (Photo District News) and other magazines, books, and displayed in art galleries worldwide.