When she was 25 and working as a researcher for National Geographic Magazine, Jennifer Hile decided to give up her apartment, quit her desk job, and sell everything she owned in order to explore the world she'd been reading about at work. For the next year, she co-captained a 25-foot sloop from Singapore through Southeast Asia, across the Indian Ocean to the Middle East, through the Horn of Africa and into the Mediterranean Sea.

Ever since that fateful decision, Jennifer has brought the same passion and curiosity to her work in advertising and television production, roles that have taken her around the world several times over—and included everything from filming schools of Galapagos sharks in remote parts of the Pacific to stunt drivers crashing trucks in fiery explosions, from nightlife scenes in Bombay to explorers reaching into the deepest trenches of the ocean to solve its mysteries.

Her Emmy-nominated work as a producer and writer for networks like National Geographic and A&E, and advertising work for international clients such as Google, Macy’s, HSBC and Microsoft, has been featured all over the globe.

Documentary Television

“Cocaine Hippos,” National Geographic Wild
Before he was killed, Pablo Escobar, the infamous Colombian drug lord, kept a zoo at his luxurious mountain hideaway, the 5,000-acre Hacienda Napoles. After his death, the compound fell into disrepair and the animals that weren’t taken in by zoos or individuals were forced to fend for themselves. Among them were hippos that had been stolen from the rivers of Africa, and are not indigenous to Colombia. Surprisingly, though, more than a decade later, their numbers have grown from two to more than 20, and they are thriving—and causing trouble—in the rainforests of northern Colombia.

“DogFight,” National Geographic
This one-hour special on dogfighting followed Michigan Humane Society officers in Detroit working 24-7 to combat the problem as well as the rehabilitation of Michael Vick’s former pit bulls, who were taken in by the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah after almost every commentator and expert said they were beyond help due to the horrendous trauma they had suffered.

Smithsonian Museum Exhibit, Oceans Hall
Producer, Writer
An 11-part series on the world’s oceans commissioned for the Smithsonian Natural History Museum that explores mangroves in Belize, eavesdrops on whales in the Pacific, and studies the impacts of global warming on ocean acidification, among other topics.

“DogTown,” National Geographic
Field producer for a 10-part series on a sanctuary in a remote corner of Utah that takes in animals that for medical or behavioral reasons were considered lost causes elsewhere. The shows explored the lives of vets and animal trainers devoted to saving the canine residents of DogTown, including the infamous pitbulls confiscated from Michael Vick.

Armageddon Outfitters for National Geographic Channel
Story Producer
Story producer for a brand new series for Nat Geo about a group of marines who, after surviving tours in Iraq and working post-­‐Katrina here in the US, believe it is critical to prepare for the possibility that society may not always protect and provide. They prepare clients from all over the country to ready themselves for a survival scenario.

“Vanishing Giants,” National Geographic
Producer, Writer, Host
“Vanishing Giants” follows the passion and dedication of Lek Chailert, a Thai woman who devotes her life to saving endangered Asian elephants. It also documents the phajaan ritual where young elephants are "broken" for work—caged, beaten, and starved—as domestic elephants are all over Asia.

The program was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Best Science/Nature documentary and won both the Genesis Award for Best Cable Documentary and a CINE Golden Eagle award.

“Iraqi Translators,” World Report, HDNet
Producer, Writer, Host
Profiles Iraqis who worked as translators for the American military forces after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and as a result became targets for insurgents. Forced to flee their country and become refugees, they were largely ignored by the US government and instead had to pin their hopes on the efforts of a band of activists and former soldiers trying to help them reach safety.

“Dallas Swat,” A&E
A multiple-episode series profiling SWAT team members as they take on high-stakes missions in Dallas, raiding the heavily fortified HQs of the most dangerous criminals.

“Off the Hook” and “Beauty and the Beast,” for WildAid and CCTV (Chinese Public Television)
Producer, Writer
Two documentaries commissioned for China's CCTV about the devastating effects rising demand for shark fin soup is having on the world's shark population. A rare opportunity to broadcast the issue directly to a Chinese audience, it got a boost when Jennifer helped organize a press conference in Beijing during which renowned basketball star Yao Ming renounced shark fin soup because of its destructive impact on shark populations.

“Patrolling Paradise,” National Geographic
Producer, Writer, Host
Examines how a burgeoning human population is impacting this once remote marine reserve, where rangers from an under-funded and outgunned unit of the Galapagos Park Marine Park try to protect it from, among other things, the exploding demand for shark fins (for shark fin soup in China) that has spurred a growing illegal fishing epidemic.

Development for “The Interrogators” and “First 48,” A&E
Found police departments across the country willing to participate in the first season of the original series, “The Interrogators.” Also researched strong characters and stories and secured legal rights to use interrogation footage. Additionally, worked on finding new police departments to participate in A&E’s long running series, “First 48.”

Series Development for Pangolin Pictures
Developing ideas and characters for shows for a variety of channels—National Geographic, Animal Planet, Bravo, and more—with the award- winning production company, Pangolin Pictures. Topics include dangerous drives, canned hunts, landscape architecture, and invasive species.

“Hidden World of the Asmat,” National Geographic Channel
Producer, Writer, Host
This project was the result of two months of reporting and filming in the rainforests in the isolated, rarely-visited Asmat region of western Papua New Guinea, where malarial swamps and jungle surround the highest mountains in Southeast Asia. In order to stave off encroachment and prevent the destruction of their communities, the indigenous Asmat people were formally mapping their land for the first time in hope of gaining ownership to a forest where they've lived for thousands of years.

“Hunting the Hunters,” National Geographic Channel
Producer, Writer, Host
Chronicles the training of a special police force devoted to combating the rampant illegal wildlife trade in Cambodia and then follows them as they conduct several raids in Phnom Penh. The plundering of Cambodia's natural resources has long enriched only a select few, hindering the government's ability to rebuild the country and develop a tax base, highlighting the need to get the national parks under control.

“Borneo on the Brink,” National Geographic Channel
Producer, Writer, Host
Tells the story of Birute Galdikas, a protégé of Richard Leakey, who also mentored Jane Goodall in her studies of chimpanzees and Diane Fossey’s studies of gorillas. Galdikas has spent her life in the forests of Borneo trying to stave off the extinction of orangutans. After following giant rafts of illegally-cut trees getting dragged out of Borneo's national parks, one of the last habitats of the orangutan, the program turns to the question of where all the illegal timber is going. It turns out that American companies buy tropical wood without any safeguards or concerns about its origin, manufacturing futon frames and salad tongs from Borneo's ancient rainforests, drastically hastening the decline of the orangutans.

Commercial / Branded Work

Google’s Creative Lab:
Senior Producer
Senior Interactive Producer for multiple launch videos at Google.  These include the launch video surrounding the release of the Google’s Racer game, which allows users to play a game across multiple devices that sync in real time, and an online documentary exploring how the game was created, which was filmed in four countries. Also produced the launch video for Google’s newest product, Google Helpouts, an online marketplace connecting businesses and consumers directly via online Google hangouts, and branding/development work across other products like Shopping and Chromebooks.

Microsoft Outlook.com:
Senior Producer, Agency: Deutsch
Senior producer for four online and broadcast commercials that were the centerpieces of Microsoft’s launch of outlook.com, which also had cinema, taxi, and international versions. Each spot was vignette-based, with multiple stories, characters and locations. Production involved crashing stunt trucks, building and flying hovercrafts, and creating a custom LED-wedding dress, among other great challenges.

Macy’s “Million Dollar Makeover”
Senior Producer, Agency: JWT
Produced one-­hour reality competition show and multiple online videos and social media for TLC about three entrepreneurs with green products competing for a one million dollar prize—the largest prize given in a single show in cable television history—awarded by celebrity judges Martha Stewart, Tommy Hilfiger, and Marcus Samuelsson.

Smirnoff “Nightlife Exchange Project”
Senior Producer, Agency: JWT
This project involved eight countries “swapping” their nightlife with another country -- all on the same night all across the globe. Produced spots to play both online and at all of the international parties  in a wide variety of languages and formats.

HSBC “World’s Local Bank” campaign
Senior Producer, Agency: JWT
Oversaw, planned, and executed a photo and video shoot with National Geographic photographers that spanned 10 countries and documented daily life and fascinating people for the “world’s local bank.” Locations included Argentina, Brazil, Panama, Mexico, San Francisco, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Czech Republic. Shoots included an intimate look at folk ballet dancers in Mexico, Bedouins in Jordan, tango dancers in Argentina, and a wedding party in Beirut.

Microsoft “Bing is Beautiful” commercial
Senior Producer, Agency: JWT
A commercial for “Bing is Beautiful” campaign that included a time lapse shoot at a sold-out Oklahoma State University football game.

United Healthcare/AARP
Senior Producer, Agency: JWT
Pre-production for a documentary commercial series for United Healthcare Medicare Supplemental Insurance.

Writing and Photography

Jen's articles and photographs have appeared in: National Geographic Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Salon, New York Times News Syndicate, NationalGeographic.com, National Geographic Kids, Wildlife Conservation Magazine, Grist, Sport Diver, and others. She also co-authored "End of the Line," a report from the wildlife advocacy organization WildAid on the global shark crisis.

Her photographs have also been featured in the book, "Elephants and Ethics: Towards a Morality of Co-existence," published by John Hopkins University, and exhibited at the Half King in New York City.

Public Speaking

She has given talks and lectures on her work at the Soho House and the Explorer's Club in New York City; the Fovea Photo Gallery in Beacon, New York; the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C; and the International Wildlife Festival in Missoula, Montana.

contact: jen@jenniferhile.com