Maggie Zackowitz, formerly director of short-form content for National Geographic magazine, has been appointed editor-in-chief of National Geographic Travel. She will be the head of all travel content, including serving as editor of National Geographic Traveler magazine and leading National Geographic’s digital and social media travel strategy. Zackowitz will report to Chris Johns, National Geographic’s chief content officer.
“As a seasoned journalist, Maggie brings a wealth of writing and digital experience to her new role. She will add a fresh, fun perspective to the travel space while continuing to focus on transformative, experiential and unique travel experiences,” Johns said.
“I have built my career on creating smart, fun, surprising content for National Geographic. My vision is to do the same for National Geographic Travel, capturing the magic moments of travel in both print and in the digital space,” Zackowitz said. “We will be focusing on relatable travel, so there will be something for all readers, no matter what their interests.”
Zackowitz and her staff will tap into National Geographic’s unparalleled access to local and global resources through its magazines’ local-language editions. There are 17 local-language editions of National Geographic Traveler magazine and 40 local-language editions of National Geographic magazine. “We can make any place in the world relatable to our readers, because we have experts on the ground in so many destinations,” Zackowitz said.
In addition to the print magazine, Zackowitz will oversee National Geographic Travel’s digital offerings, including its annual photo contest and blogging network as well as its social media presence. National Geographic is a leader in the social media travel category, with nearly 8.5 million followers across all platforms at present.
National Geographic also announced today the formation of a new Editorial Council of Travel Advisors under the leadership of Kimberly Connaghan, vice president and publisher, Global Media Travel and Partnerships, and Zackowitz. This group of experienced travel writers will work to build larger global partnerships. The Editorial Council members are Robert Reid, Annie Fitzsimmons, George Stone, Andrew Nelson and Costas Christ.
Prior to being National Geographic magazine’s director of short-form content, Zackowitz was chief of the magazine’s Departments section. She also handled National Geographic special blogging projects, such as the first real-time blogging of an Everest ascent. In 2014, she founded the National Geographic food blog, “The Plate.”
Zackowitz has a B.A. in political science from Arizona State University.