Ben Curtis, Middle East photo editor for The Associated Press for the last five years, has been named chief photographer and photo editor for East Africa, based in Nairobi.
The appointment was announced Friday by Santiago Lyon, the cooperative's director of photography.
"Ben is a very versatile visual journalist with a proven track record of working to a very high standard on major news stories in Africa and the Middle East. He is ideally suited to oversee our photo operations in East Africa," Lyon said.
Curtis, 37, has covered stories across the Middle East and Africa, including conflicts in Gaza, Lebanon, Kenya, Liberia and Iraq. He also covered Iran's elections in 2009 and the Athens Olympics. More recently he has been working on the political upheavals in Egypt and Libya.
His photographs have won a number of awards, including a World Press Photo award in 2005 for his coverage of Togolese postelection violence.
A dual U.S. and British citizen, Curtis began his AP career in 2003 as a photographer in Dakar, Senegal, covering 23 countries. In 2005 he moved to Cairo as Middle East photo editor with responsibility for AP's photo coverage across the region.
Before joining AP, Curtis worked for the U.K. Press Association for six years in Scotland and London. Curtis holds a law degree from Sheffield University and a postgraduate photojournalism diploma from Stradbroke College, both in England.