EXPLORER, HOST & DIRECTOR
J.J. Kelley a twice Emmy-nominated director, is a producer and correspondent for National Geographic Channel’s flagship documentary series, EXPLORER. He's also the host of the Travel Channel series, "Off the Map," which investigate some of history's greatest adventures gone wrong. Three of his documentaries have been featured on the cover of National Geographic Magazine.
A distinguished filmmaker, Kelley is the director of the Emmy-nominated documentary Warlords of Ivory, the premiere episode of National Geographic’s re-launched series EXPLORER. A fellow at the Explorers Club, Kelley’s travels have instilled a sense of protecting the planet. Kelley is the winner of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival’s Best Conservation Film for Battle for the Elephants, a 1-hour NGTV-PBS special on brutal slaughter of African elephants for their tusks, fueled largely by China’s demand for ivory. Kelley received the Conservation Achievement for Media and Film Award from TUSK and Best Short Film winner at the Blue Ocean Film Festival for GYRE, a National Geographic documentary he directed on the mounting tragedy of ocean trash killing wildlife.
An avid adventurer, Kelley paddled from Alaska to Seattle in kayaks he and a friend built (feature documentary Paddle to Seattle). He then rowed and rickshawed the full length of the most polluted river in the world (feature documentary Go Ganges!). Kelley is a 2,300-mile Appalachian Trail Thru-hiker, and biked the length of Alaska to the Arctic Ocean. Kelley brings a unique mix of humor and grit to subjects he investigates, which often take him to the remotest parts of the planet.
Kelley’s work has appeared on National Geographic Channel, NOVA, Discovery Channels, New York Times, Outside, PBS and more.