Shayda’s path to challenge corporate power began at birth. As an Iranian American, she was exposed to international politics early on. “My parents raised me with deep awareness of American imperialism, which is deeply interlaced with corporate power,” she explains.
When she worked in Ecuador, she witnessed the ongoing genocide of indigenous peoples in the Amazon by transnational oil corporations. Determined to be part of creating change, she worked at the Indian Law Resource Center with indigenous governments. In this role, she witnessed the injustices of current political and economic systems for native peoples, as well as the role of corporations and international financial institutions in deepening and exploiting these injustices.
All these experiences led her to Corporate Accountability, where she began as a researcher and campaigner for the water campaign in 2011. Today, she directs the campaigning to protect water as a human right and public good internationally, including holding global corporations and international financial institutions accountable for their abuses and advancing protections for the human right to water at the international level and in the United Nations. She also partners with allies in the U.S. and across the globe to strengthen movements for broader social change and shift power from global corporations to people through organizing and international law, bolstering participatory democracy and countering racism, misogyny, and other systems of oppression.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in earth sciences from Rice University and a master’s in political science from the University of Chicago. And if you hear someone singing beautiful renditions of early 90’s R&B songs around campaign headquarters, you know that’s Shayda.
Shayda speaks Spanish and English.