Atossa Soltani

Atossa Soltani

Founder & President of the Board, Amazon Watch; Director of Global Strategy for Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative

Atossa Soltani is the Founder and President of Amazon Watch, a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin ( Currently, Atossa is the director of global strategy for the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative, working to protect one of the most bio-diverse ecosystems on Earth. The initiative is led by an alliance of Amazonian indigenous nations of Ecuador and Peru, with support from Fundacion Pachamama, Amazon Watch and the Pachamama Alliance.

Amazon Watch and the Sacred Headwaters Initiative works to protect the rainforest in the Amazon basin with the indigenous peoples who know best how to protect the forest. They work in partnership and solidarity at the regional, local and global level to halt the destruction of the rainforest, to increase levels of protection, to advance land rights and indigenous peoples' rights to their territories and their way of life and their self-determination and human rights.

Atossa has also been producing a feature-length documentary THE FLOW directed by Louis Fox, about the art of aligning with nature's way. Passionate about philanthropic endeavors focused on the world's indigenous peoples, for a decade, Atossa served as a Trustee of the Christensen Fund, a private San Francisco-based foundation that supports the stewards of biocultural diversity from 2008 to 2017, and was as the Foundation's board chair for five years.

Since the early 1990's, Atossa has been leading global campaigns that have resulted in groundbreaking victories for rainforest protection, indigenous land rights, and corporate accountability. A skilled strategist and storyteller, Atossa has brought to light human rights abuses and environmental disasters caused by extractive industries and effectively advanced rights based solutions to these conflicts.

Prior to founding Amazon Watch, Atossa directed campaigns at the Rainforest Action Network that led to ending clear-cut logging practices in Canada and forcing Hollywood Studios to end their use of rainforest wood in movie sets.