bio

For its 125th year anniversary, National Geographic cited Bryan Christy’s writing as one of ten ways National Geographic had changed the world. He is founder of the Special Investigations Unit at National Geographic, a National Geographic Society Fellow, and in 2014 was named the National Geographic Society’s Explorer of the Year. His work has been recognized by many organizations, including the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors, and he was named a Centennial Speaker by the US Department of Justice.

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Christy’s non-fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and has appeared in Foreign Policy, National GeographicPlayboy, and law journals. His National Geographic cover story, Tracking Ivory, examined links between ivory trafficking and terrorism, and was the subject of the Emmy-nominated film, Warlords of Ivory, for which he won a 2016 Wildscreen “Green Oscars” Panda Award as presenter.

Christy’s 2012 National Geographic cover story Blood Ivory revolutionized global ivory trade policy discussions and was made into the multiple award-winning National Geographic-PBS documentary feature film Battle for the Elephants.

Christy is author of The Lizard King: the true crimes and passions of the world’s greatest reptile smugglers (TWELVE). In researching that book he was bitten between the eyes by a blood python, chased by a mother alligator, sprayed by a bird-eating tarantula, and ejaculated on by a Bengal tiger.

He is a frequent public speaker, sharing with audiences his experiences running international criminal investigations and the power of creative problem solving.  His media appearances include The Daily ShowCNN’s Amanpour, BBC, Al Jazeera America, CBS, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR’s Fresh Air w Terry Gross, Nightline, PBS NewsHour, Special Report w Bret Baier, The Diane Rehm Show, Kilmeade & Friends.

Christy began his professional career working for his father as a mortician’s apprentice. Things got brighter, gradually, from there. He practiced as a certified public accountant in New York City and as a lawyer in Tokyo and Washington, DC where he worked on such topics as US-Japan supercomputer trade, Norwegian whaling, and the sale of light water nuclear reactors to North Korea.

His education includes Pennsylvania State University, Cornell University Graduate School (FALCON Program), the University of Michigan Law School, and Tokyo University Law School (where he was a Fulbright Scholar). He is an Explorers Club Fellow.

Bryan Christy, National Geographic EXPLORER, in WARLORDS OF IVORY