Simon Akam was born in Cambridge, England. After a British Army Gap Year Commission in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards he read English Literature at Oxford University. During his studies he travelled widely in Europe and Africa.
After graduating he moved to Egypt to study Arabic and freelance. While in Cairo he also applied for and won the Fulbright Alistair Cooke Memorial Scholarship. Named after the celebrated BBC broadcaster, each year the award sends a British journalist to study in the United States.
Simon moved to New York City in July 2008. After graduating from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism he worked at the New York Times, covering a wide variety of stories across the New York area.
After leaving the US Simon worked in Istanbul and Berlin and is now Reuters' correspondent in Sierra Leone in West Africa. In 2010 he also won the professional strand of the Guardian's International Development Journalism Competition.
Simon's writing has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, the Guardian, the Observer, the Washington Post, the Economist, the Times Literary Supplement, the Financial Times, the Independent, the New Statesman, the New Republic, the Literary Review, Intelligent Life and Tatler. He speaks German and Arabic and enjoys riding and ski mountaineering.
Photograph taken in Karamoja, North East Uganda, by Marc Hofer - www.journalistpicture.de