“I love the mountains. I love to travel. And I love adventure. What’s left to say?”
Soraya Shattuck is described by her peers and colleagues as an inquisitive, ecological adventurer. From her childhood in Kenya to her current home in the Pacific Northwest, she has explored African savannas to rugged mountain landscapes around the world. She has an extensive travel resume — having visited over 30 countries before the age of 30 – with no end in sight. She has also stepped foot on every continent.
Soraya earned a bachelors in operations management in 2007 and a masters in business administration in sustainability and organizational leadership in 2013. Since then, Soraya has focused on helping businesses integrate lean, environmental, energy-efficiency strategies into their processes. In late 2016, she became the executive director of the newly created Adventure Travel Conservation Fund.
The impetus for this started many years ago from a childhood experience: “In 1989 my father took me on a short drive into Nairobi National Park to witness a powerful statement by the Kenyan government: I spent a great part of that cold morning watching tons and tons of ivory being set on fire and slowly burnt to the ground. It was a demonstration against illegal poaching of elephants. That was the first time it became clear to me how fragile and delicate and integrated the travel economy is,” and how that affects the livelihood of local communities who depend on tourism and the natural ecosystems.
“Since that day, my passion for travel has not diminished. But with that comes a great deal of responsibility to understand, minimize and eliminate the negative impacts of travel.”
In her role with the conservation fund, Soraya Shattuck continues to leverage her diverse experience and knowledge in sustainable systems thinking, social justice, and business culture. The goal is to inspire positive change and drive increased environmental and social responsibility within the tourism industry.