Anna Neistat

Anna Neistat
Head of Research, Amnesty International
  • Harvard Law School “Women Inspiring Change” honouree (2018)
  • Named a French-American Foundation Young Leader (2014)
  • Named one of the “24 women of 2012” by L'Express magazine
  • Selected for the “Rising Talents” program at the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society (2012)

As her grandfather was an architect and her father a sculptor, Anna – who went to art school for ten years – envisioned being an artist or an architect when she was younger.

The human rights heroine

She can’t fly and doesn’t wear a cape, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Anna Neistat is a real-life superhero. A bold and indefatigable activist and lawyer, Anna’s life and career has been almost singularly devoted to human rights issues and fighting abuses. Growing up in Moscow during Perestroika, she was excited and emboldened by both the incipient change in the country and the first thrusts of independent media therein. At 18, she worked for the country’s first independent radio station; at 19, she helped a family of eight escape from the civil war in Tajikistan; at 25, she was brought into the fold at Human Rights Watch. At Human Rights Watch, Anna spent years on the front line, investigating and documenting human rights abuses amidst conflict zones in some of the world’s most dangerous and unstable regions, including Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Chechnya and Haiti. The award-winning 2014 documentary E-Team followed her and her husband, Ole Solvang, as they did this work. Today, Anna is Head of Research for Amnesty International, where she is responsible for overseeing the organization’s research worldwide and raising the bar with regards to its strategies and investigative methodology.
“What the rogue governments and other human rights abusers fear most: people who care.”
Anna at her Integrity 20 talk
  • Harvard Law School “Women Inspiring Change” honouree (2018)
  • Named a French-American Foundation Young Leader (2014)
  • Named one of the “24 women of 2012” by L'Express magazine
  • Selected for the “Rising Talents” program at the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society (2012)

As her grandfather was an architect and her father a sculptor, Anna – who went to art school for ten years – envisioned being an artist or an architect when she was younger.