Pete Souza's Headshot

Pete Souza

Official White House Photographer for Presidents Obama and Reagan - Panelist Blurb

From eyewitness to history maker, Pete Souza provides behind the-scenes photographs from the White House and beyond. Souza was the Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama and an Official White House Photographer for President Reagan. 

During Obama’s eight years as president, Souza took close to two million photographs. More than 300 of those photographs comprise his latest book, Obama: An Intimate Portrait, which debuted as #1 on the New York Times bestseller’s list. As President Obama wrote in the foreword, “Over the course of eight years in the White House, I probably spent more time with Pete Souza than with anybody other than my family.” Souza was present not only for every meeting, but for the private and personal moments that, according to President Obama, captured “the mood, the atmosphere and the meaning of those moments.”

Souza also published a young reader’s edition of his Obama photographs, “Dream Big Dreams,” which also debuted on the New York Times bestseller’s list. In addition to the national political scene, Souza has covered stories around the world as a photojournalist for newspapers and magazines. After 9/11, he was among the first journalists to cover the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan, after crossing the Hindu Kush mountains by horseback in three feet of snow.

Souza has lectured many times on his photography including at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Harvard University, Boston University, and has appeared on dozens of TV and radio news shows. He has exhibited his photographs at many venues around the world and is planning his new traveling exhibit, “Two Presidents, One Photographer,” for 2019-2020. 

Souza is also a Professor Emeritus at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication and was recently awarded the Hugo X. Shong Lifetime Achievement Award for Communication from Boston University. Souza is currently a freelance photographer based in Washington, D.C. His daily Instagram feed @petesouza is a source of subtle yet respectful commentary on today’s political environment.