March 24, 2016 Last Updated 8:48 am

National Geographic expands its digital team with six new appointments

Patrick Witty, formerly director of photography at WIRED, joins National Geographic Partners as Deputy Director of Photography for Digital

WASHINGTON – March 24, 2016 — National Geographic is a leading global brand on social media with a combined fan base of more than 250 million across all platforms. In response to its success and growing business, National Geographic Partners is expanding its Digital team by announcing six key appointments, including a new Executive Editor overseeing Digital content and new editors for Digital News and Photography.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to promote and hire these talented leaders in digital journalism who all share National Geographic’s passion for storytelling,” said Susan Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic magazine and Editorial Director, National Geographic Partners.

Dan Gilgoff has been promoted to Executive Editor for Digital. Dan joined National Geographic in 2013 as Director of Digital News. He was previously religion editor at, where he led a team that won the Online Journalism Award for beat reporting. Dan has also worked as the political correspondent for U.S. News & World Report and for Beliefnet, where he won the Online Journalism Award for commentary. He is the author of “The Jesus Machine: How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America are Winning the Culture War” (St. Martin’s Press, 2007), has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today and has appeared on NPR, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and C-SPAN.

Patrick Witty joins National Geographic Partners as Deputy Director of Photography for Digital, leading the digital photography team as well as contributing to National Geographic magazine. Patrick was most recently the director of photography at WIRED, where he led photography across all platforms and produced award-winning covers on a variety of subjects from Dr. Dre to Edward Snowden. Prior to joining WIRED, Patrick was the international picture editor at TIME where he edited global visual coverage that won numerous awards and recognition from organizations including the World Press Photo of the Year, Pictures of the Year International, the American Society of Magazine Editors and the Society of Professional Design. Patrick has served on multiple juries and has led workshops in Iraq, Bangladesh and Slovenia for local photographers and editors. Previously, Patrick was the international picture editor at The New York Times and was a member of the foreign staff awarded the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting in 2009. Patrick began his career as a freelance photographer based in Washington, D.C., and New York. His editorial work has appeared in publications including TIME, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Stern and GEO. Patrick’s photographs from 9/11 were widely published and are part of the permanent collection at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Born in Kentucky, Patrick has a degree in Photojournalism from Western Kentucky University.

Laura Helmuth joins National Geographic Partners as Director of Digital News. Laura was an award-winning writer and science and health editor at Slate since 2012 and had led the legal beat there for the last two years. She previously worked as science editor for Smithsonian magazine and as a writer and editor for Science magazine and its news site. Laura has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California at Berkeley and is the incoming president of the National Association of Science Writers.

Michael Tribble joins National Geographic Partners as Director of Design overseeing design of National Geographic magazine content across all platforms, including the iPad and Most recently, Michael had been the director of product innovation at Advance Ohio, the digital media parent of The Plain Dealer. Prior to that, Michael had been the assistant managing editor for digital as well as design and graphics director at The Plain Dealer. He was previously the design director for the San Jose Mercury News.

Kevin DiCesare has been promoted to Senior User Experience Designer. In his new role, Kevin will help lead the effort to create a unified user experience for National Geographic Partners, focusing on creating a global style guide and enhancing the AEM publishing platform. Kevin joined National Geographic as a digital designer in 2012 and has contributed to the evolution of mobile-first storytelling in National Geographic’s apps and on Kevin designed many of the magazine’s award-winning multimedia stories including Ivory TradeThe New New York SkylineTrajan’s Column and The Future of Food series.

Victoria Jaggard joins National Geographic Partners as Online Science Editor. Since 2014, Victoria had been the science editor at,where she expanded coverage of astronomy, launched widely read series about the Earth’s inner workings and the modern geologic time known as theAnthropocene, and produced an award-winning feature on breast cancer research. She was previously an editor at New Scientist magazine and a writer and editor for from 2005 to 2012.

National Geographic is No. 1 in the magazine industry for total fans and engagement across major social platforms such as FacebookTwitterGoogle+and Instagram and it is the most followed non-celebrity brand on Instagram. Coined the “king of magazines in social media ranking” by the New York Post, National Geographic is the recipient of numerous digital awards. Recent highlights are 18 awards from the 73rd Annual Pictures of the Year International Competition, including First Place in Online Feature Story Editing for Quest for a Superbee, Third Place in Online Feature Story Editing for Homo Naledi and Second Place in Online News and Issue Story Editing for Taking Back Detroit, and multiple wins from the Malofiej International Infographics Awards including the Bronze in Features–Online Graphics.

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