Francis Kohn spent most of his journalistic career at Agence France Presse (AFP) carrying out many assignments abroad. He was AFP photo director from January of 2012 to May 2017, year he retired from AFP.
Before assuming the direction of AFP photo, he had spent four years in Latin America as regional director.
After studying literature in French university, he enrolled at American University in Washington DC where he majored in journalism. He started working at AFP in 1979 and in 1982 returned to Washington, this time as an AFP correspondent. After a couple of years, he moved to New York as a general news correspondent and at the time began to work closely with photographers as AFP started his international photo service in 1985. He covered conflicts in central America and Mexico until 1995 when he became editor in chief for France for 5 years. In May 2000 to June 2006 he was back to Washington as editor in chief for North America. He was also posted in Stockholm as bureau chief.
Over the past 6 years, AFP has won two Pulitzer prizes in Photography and was finalist in 2015. It has received two Visa d’Or at Visa pour l’Image back to back in 2015 and 2016 and a number of World Press Photo awards among others.
Francis Kohn was Chairman of the World Press Photo in 2016. Since his retirement, he has continued to be involved in Photography, participating in a number of events worldwide.
He is married to an American painter and they have two children.