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Kristen Ashburn is a documentary photographer who has received numerous honors including a nomination for the 28th Annual Emmy Awards (2007) for BLOODLINE, NPPA's Best of Photojournalism (2007, 2006, 2003), the John Faber Award from the Overseas Press Club of America (2006) and two World Press Photo prizes (2005, 2003).

Ashburn was awarded the Getty Grant in 2006, Canon's Female Photojournalist Award in 2004, and the Marty Forscher Fellowship for Humanistic Photography in 2003. In 2004, she was recognized as one of Photo District News "30 under 30 photographers" and participated in the prestigious World Press Photo "Joop Swart" Master Class. In 2003 she was a speaker at the TED Conference.

She began photographing the impact of HIV/AIDS in southern Africa in 2001 and released a book of this work in 2009 entitled I Am Because We Are with a forward by Madonna. Ashburn's work has also taken her to Iraq a year following the US-led invasion; Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Sri Lanka in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, New Orleans after Katrina, Haiti after the quake and Russia to cover the spread of MDR-tuberculosis in the penal system.

Her work has appeared in many publications including The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report, Life, Rolling Stones and The Telegraph Sunday Magazine among others.

Committed to humanitarianism beyond the lens, while still in college at New York University she made five trips to Romania as a volunteer working with neurologically impaired orphans, and in 1997 established an American chapter of the Romanian Challenge Appeal, becoming its first chairperson.

In 2001, the year she joined Contact Press Images, she began her work on the Rwanda project, Through the Eyes of Children. Since that time, she has continued to volunteer to teach photography during each annual workshop and runs the NY office of the charity coordinating exhibitions and workshops for the photo kids. She lives between New York City and Miami with her husband and daughter.