Atossa Soltani, 2013 Hillary Laureate

Atossa Soltani, 2013 Hillary Laureate

Atossa Soltani is widely recognized for her leadership over the past two decades working to support indigenous peoples in their efforts to protect their rights to self-determination, territories, natural resources, culture and way of life.


She has been documenting and publicizing forest destruction and human rights abuses caused by extractive industries and large-scale energy projects throughout the Amazon and she has led successful campaigns to convince oil companies and international financial institutions to adopt stronger environmental and social standards.

Atossa also serves as the chair of the board of trustees of the Christensen Fund, is on the board of directors of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, the advisory board of Peru-based Arkana Alliance and the advisory board of the Inter-American Clean Energy Institute.  

Prior to founding Amazon Watch, Atossa directed campaigns at the Rainforest Action Network (1991-1996) aimed at ending clear-cut logging in old growth rainforests. She began her environmental career in the late 1980’s as the Conservation Director for the City of Santa Monica where she designed and directed an award winning water conservation program. Atossa is a skilled strategist in media and policy advocacy and movement building, and a firm believer in the power of storytelling to create change. She has been instrumental in the production of numerous advocacy videos and short documentaries about the people and the places Amazon Watch works to protect.

A native of Iran, Atossa moved to the United States at the age of 13.  She holds a B.S. in Public Policy Management from the University of Akron, Ohio. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese, English and Farsi.