CAIRO – Maya Alleruzzo, a photographer who has covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during a 12-year stint in the region, has been named regional photo editor for the Middle East by The Associated Press.
The appointment was announced on Tuesday by Ian Phillips, AP's Middle East news director. Alleruzzo succeeds Manoocher Deghati and will oversee a team of more than 30 staff photographers and editors, as well as a network of freelancers. Her region also includes parts of North Africa as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"Maya has an eye for human stories and she works tirelessly to tell the tumultuous story of the Middle East through its people," said Phillips, who leads AP's overall coverage in the Middle East. Alleruzzo completes a regional management team that includes Tomislav Skaro, in charge of video coverage, and Dan Perry, head of the text report.
Alleruzzo, 44, joined AP as a staff photographer in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2007. She was embedded throughout the U.S. troop surge that year and was part of a prize-winning team that produced the series "Killer Blue," chronicling the deployment of a combat platoon in Mosul, Iraq. The team was awarded the Edward R. Murrow prize in the video news documentary category. She remained in Iraq, departing with the final U.S. military unit in the country.
In Afghanistan, she covered special operations forces as they fought the Taliban in 2009.
Prior to joining the AP, Alleruzzo worked for several media outlets including The Washington Times.
"Maya has a proven and excellent track record as a photographer, editor and organizer and will be a great addition to our Middle East team in this new role," said Santiago Lyon, vice president and director of photography for the AP. "Both our staff and Middle East customers will benefit from her knowledge and experience."
John Daniszewski, vice president and senior managing editor for international news at the AP, said: "Alleruzzo has been helping audiences see the Middle East in all its complexities and triumphs and tragedies for the past decade. Her leadership of AP's award-winning team of photographers in the region will help bring its stories to life to audiences around the world."
Alleruzzo was a founding member of AP's Middle East photo editing desk in Cairo in 2011 and oversaw coverage that included the Arab Spring, Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, the killing of Osama bin Laden and the Syrian war. During that time, the AP won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of Syria.
Alleruzzo, who grew up in Pasadena, California, has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.