Joe Newman


Joe is the founder of Focus on the Story and serves as the executive director and president, overseeing all aspects of the organization’s operations, programming and outreach.

Focus on the Story grew out of his many photography-related activities in the Washington, D.C. area. Prior to incorporating Focus on the Story in July 2018, Joe worked as the U.S. media strategist for a German lens manufacturer,  led photography workshops in Cuba, published two collaborative photo books financed through Kickstarter campaigns, took on photography assignments for various NGO clients, and founded the Focus on the Story International Photo Festival. Creating a non-profit organization with a mission to support visual storytelling that has a social impact was a natural transition for Joe who has spent his career working for the public interest.

Until 2016, he served as the director of communications at the Project On Government Oversight, a nonpartisan, nonprofit, independent watchdog that investigates corruption in the federal government and champions good government reforms. And prior to that, he was the deputy director of communications at Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, where he helped develop the organization’s social media strategy. He started his career in Florida, where he worked as an award-winning reporter and editor at the Orlando Sentinel, St. Petersburg Times and Palm Beach Post.