TEDxBoston

Steven Donziger

Attorney

Renowned human rights lawyer, writer, front-line defender, and activist Steven Donziger has been internationally heralded for his focus on addressing human rights abuses and corporate malfeasance. Known for his “Herculean tenacity” (Business Week), Steven is part of the team working with indigenous and farmer communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, who won a historic $9.5B judgement against Chevron for the environmental cleanup of what experts consider to be one of the worst oil-related catastrophes in the world. Following the stunning victory, he became the main target of a retaliatory campaign by Chevron – the only person ever to be prosecuted by a corporation – and was wrongly imprisoned, receiving support from 68 Nobel Laureates and 120 NGOs working for his release. In a piece for VICE, he reveals the challenges he and other activists have had to overcome for trying to hold a corporation accountable. More on the ongoing story and latest updates can be found at FreeDonziger.com. Steven is sought after for events with groups like Tomorrowland Music Festival, NYU Law, Stockholm+50 Climate Conference, the Hay Festival, the World Rainforest Day Summit, and more.

Steven is the Founder of Project Due Process, a legal advocacy group for Cuban detainees who arrived in the United States in the Mariel boat lift. He previously served as the Director for the non-partisan National Criminal Justice Commission that produced the landmark study, The Real War on Crime. Steven’s analysis and commentary on human rights, environmental, and criminal justice matters has been featured in numerous legal publications, academic journals, and news outlets. In 1991, Steven led a mission to Iraq of lawyers, public health specialists, and military experts to assess the impact on civilians of the bombing during the first Gulf War. The group’s report, which found that an estimated 100K children would die following the end of hostilities due to damage to the Iraqi healthcare infrastructure, was adopted by the United Nations and covered in more than 400 media outlets around the world. He is the former chief correspondent for United Press International in Nicaragua, where he reported for a variety of publications during the U.S.-backed contra war. Steven currently serves on the Board of Advisors to the Fortune Society, the largest self-help organization for ex-offenders in the United States. In impactful events, Steven offers insights from his tremendous career as a litigator and advocate, from his decades of work addressing human rights abuses, to cutting edge issues regarding the climate crisis, and how these global events impact individuals, organizations, and communities today.