About

The Alexia began as the Alexia Foundation, created with the mission to promote the power of photojournalism to give voice to social injustice, and to support photographers as agents for change.

Above: Siblings Curtis, Kate and Jude lay in their backyard in Watford, North Dakota. From the collection “Beckon Us From Home” by 2017 Alexia Grant winner Sarah Blesener.

Dr. Peter and Aphrodite Tsairis founded the Alexia Foundation in 1991, in partnership with the Newhouse School, to honor their daughter, Alexia, who was a 20-year-old photography major at the Newhouse School when she was killed in the bombing of Pan Am 103 in December 1988 as she was returning home from a semester abroad in London.

During 30 years of promoting photojournalism as a tool for social justice, the foundation awarded over $1.7 million in grants to 170 student and professional photographers through annual competitions.

In 2020, the foundation became part of the Newhouse School and was renamed The Alexia. Mike Davis, Alexia Tsairis Chair in Documentary Photography, is the program director.


Trustees

Aphrodite Thevos Tsairis
Alexia Foundation co-founder, mother of Alexia Tsairis

A former teacher, editor and administrator, Aphrodite became a political activist following the terrorist attack that took the life of her daughter. As chairman of the largest group of survivor families, she spent many days lobbying and testifying on Capitol Hill and traveling to Scotland, the Netherlands and Britain for high-level meetings seeking justice in what was then the largest American mass murder case in the skies.

Peter Tsairis, M.D.
Alexia Foundation co-founder, father of Alexia Tsairis

Peter Tsairis is a retired attending neurologist and director emeritus of neurology at the Hospital for Special Surgery and an associate professor of clinical neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. He is now a part-time neurology consultant in Morristown, New Jersey. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and has published extensively in the scientific literature.

George A. Tsairis
Alexia Foundation co-founder, brother of Alexia Tsairis

A licensed architect and builder, George Tsairis earned a B.A. from Hamilton College in 1988 and a Master of Architecture from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1993. A member of the American Institute of Architects, he has owned and operated an architectural and building firm since 1996. 

Ariadne Tsairis Cousoulas, PA-C
Alexia Foundation co-founder, sister of Alexia Tsairis

A specialist in family medicine, Cousoulas earned a B.A. from Colgate University and a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Seton Hall University. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the New Jersey State Society of Physician Assistants.

Richard Krim
Treasurer, Board of Trustees

Krim is a principal of Krim Associates, which provides wealth management and estate planning to business owners and professionals. He is a Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant and Chartered Adviser in Philanthropy.

David Sutherland
Former Alexia Tsairis Chair for Documentary Photography

David Sutherland was the Alexia Foundation administrator for the organization’s first 20 years and the Alexia Chair from 2007-2010. He has taught photojournalism at the Newhouse School since 1979.

Mike Davis
Alexia Tsairis Chair for Documentary Photography

Mike Davis has had the pleasure of working with some of the world’s best photo staffs as a picture editor for more than 25 years at National Geographic Magazine, The White House, several of America’s leading newspapers and as an independent editor. He was twice named newspaper picture editor of the year and has edited work for more than 20 books. He was named Alexia Chair in 2013.

Mickey Osterreicher
Trustee

A photographer for four decades, Osterreicher serves as General Counsel of the National Press Photographers Association, working diligently to protect First Amendment rights and intellectual property rights, and serving as a vigorous advocate for the rights and livelihood of photographers and visual journalists.

Photojournalism Advisory Council

Jim Dooley

Dooley is retired director of photography for Newsday, and was also assistant director of photography for the Los Angeles Times. He was a judge for Pictures of the Year International and the first China International Press Photo competition, and curator of the Pingyao, China Photo Festival.

Brian Storm

Brian Storm is founder and executive producer of MediaStorm.

Ami Vitale

An Alexia Grant winner in 2000, Vitale‘s photographs have been exhibited around the world in museums/galleries and published in many international magazines. She is a contract photographer with National Geographic Magazine and frequently teaches workshops.  

Ed Kashi

Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker and educator dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times. As a member of VII Photo Agency, Kashi has been recognized for his complex imagery and its compelling rendering of the human condition. 

Wen Huang

Huang is director of the International Business Development Division at the News and Information Center of China’s National Press Agency, Xinhua News Agency. She was a World Press Photo Contest Jury member in 2006 and 2007, a jury member of Pictures of the Year International in 2008 and Walkley Prize in Australia in 2009.

Whitney Johnson

Johnson is the deputy director of photography at National Geographic. Previously, she was the director of photography at The New Yorker where her work was widely recognized. Before that, she worked at the Open Society Foundations, coordinating a grant competition for photographers and the Moving Walls exhibition. 

Lacy Austin

Austin is director of community programs at the International Center of Photography in New York City, focusing on photography education as a way to foster self-esteem and community empowerment. 

Aidan Sullivan

Sullivan began his career at The Sunday Times of London  and subsequently joined the Sunday Times Magazine as director of photography and assistant editor. In 2004, he founded image.net. After its acquisition by Getty Images, he became vice president of photo assignments. He is CEO of the agency Verbatim, which he founded in 2014.

Eileen Mignoni

Mignoni is an award-winning video producer with The New York Times and National Geographic. She has joined the Alexia Foundation as communications director in 2011.

Mia Tramz

Tramz is the senior multimedia editor at Time, leading the photo and multimedia team on TIME.com. Since joining the news organization as an associate photo editor in 2013, she has increasingly taken on leadership roles in Time’s online visual coverage and has embraced new forms of storytelling and new technologies.   

2020 Judges

Laylah Amatullah Barrayn
Grant Competition Judge

Barrayn is a documentary photographer and frequent contributor to The New York Times. Her work was nominated for a 2020 News and Documentary Emmy. She is the co-author of the book “MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora.” She is a member of Kamoinge, a pioneering collective of African American photographers founded in 1963. 

Noelle Flores Théard
Grant Competition Judge

Théard is program officer at the nonprofit Magnum Foundation, a part-time faculty member in the B.F.A. photography program at Parsons School of Design and the co-founder and board chair of FotoKonbit.

Joshua Rashaad McFadden
Grant Competition Judge

McFadden, a visual artist and assistant professor of photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology, uses portraiture and archival imagery to explore themes and concepts related to identity, masculinity, history, race and sexuality. His practice provides a frame of reference that articulates the many personalities of Black men. 

Staff

Eileen Mignoni
Communications Director

Eileen Mignoni is an award-winning video producer with The New York Times and National Geographic.

Jessica Stewart
Competition Administrator

Jessica Stewart is an independent photographer and videographer based in Syracuse, pursuing a master’s degree in multimedia, photography and design at the Newhouse School. She is a graduate of Kennesaw State University and worked as the locations services coordinator for the DeKalb Entertainment Commission.