Melissa Harris is editor-at-large of Aperture Foundation (after serving as editor-in-chief of Aperture magazine for over ten years, when it won many awards including: Pictures of the Year, “First Place: Best Use of Photography – Magazine” 1999; the National Magazine Award for “General Excellence” 2004; FOLIO gold “Eddie” award, 2005 and “2007 and 2010 LUCIE Award, Photography Magazine of the Year.”).
In 2013, she left her position on the magazine, and reconceived her role at Aperture where she is now part-time, in order to fulfill two large writing commitments-- biographies on the photographers Michael “Nick” Nichols (to be published by Aperture), and Josef Koudelka (commissioned by the Magnum Foundation). She has edited over forty books for Aperture, and has curated and co-curated photography exhibits throughout the United States and Europe at venues that include Aperture Gallery in New York; and, in Perpignan, France at Visa Pour l’Image; in Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the ICA; in Houston, Texas at DiverseWorks; in Naples, Italy at Villa Pignatelli; in Venice, Italy at The Peggy Guggenheim Collection; and, in Milan, Italy at the Milano Triennale.
Along with teaching at NYU, Harris taught for several years at Columbia University’s graduate School of Journalism, as well as in Yale University’s graduate program in photography, where she still teaches. She served on Community Board 5 in New York City for 4 years, and is a member of the Curatorial Advisory Board for “LOOK3: Festival of the Photograph,” and a Trustee of the John Cage Trust.