Meet Our Founder

Our founder Annie Leonard is a tireless advocate for the environment and a longtime leader in the movement to change the way we make, use, and throw away Stuff. In August 2014, she became Executive Director of Greenpeace USA and remains a strategic advisor to the Project and a member of our Board of Directors.

Annie’s Story

Annie spent almost three decades investigating where our Stuff comes from and where it goes when we throw it away. As a staffer at Greenpeace International, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Health Care Without Harm and Essential Action she traveled to more than 40 countries, visiting factories and dumps, training local activists and exposing the international toxic waste trade.

What Annie found inspired her to create The Story of Stuff: a fast-paced, fact-filled explanation of the consumerist economy. That 20-minute online movie, released in December 2007, has now been watched online more than 30 million times and in every country on Earth.

In 2008, Annie created the non-profit Story of Stuff Project, to leverage the unexpected success of her movie. From 2009 to 2013, Annie and her team created 8 additional online movies, wrote and promoted a best-selling book and created learning and engagement opportunities for the hundreds of thousands of people attracted by its movies, podcasts and other media.

In addition to the Story of Stuff Project’s board, Annie currently serves on the boards of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Public Citizen and Wallace Global Fund. She earned her undergraduate degree at Barnard College, Columbia University and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University.

If you’d like to pursue an inquiry regarding having Annie speak at your event, please contact Gabrielle Leyden at