MacArthur “genius” award winner Corinne Dufka spent a decade as a psychiatric social worker before becoming a Reuters photojournalist. She covered armed conflicts in 17 nations, including El Salvador, Sierra Leone and Bosnia. But it was inside a hotel room in Rwanda where she had an “epiphany” that compelled her to leave photojournalism at the height of her career.

She went on to become a criminal investigator for the Special Court for Sierra Leone and is now a researcher for Human Rights Watch. Dufka discusses what drives her to champion the rights of the marginalized, whether working inside a psych ward in San Francisco, at a rain-soaked refugee crossing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or on a Bosnian battlefield, where she was severely injured by a landmine.

Dufka is awarded the Courage In Journalism Award

Dufka wins the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant

Dufka’s photos on Getty Images and World Press Photo