Azzam Alwash is the founder and CEO of Nature Iraq, a nongovernmental agency that works to protect, restore and preserve Iraq’s natural environment and is the recipient of the 2013 Goldman Prize for excellence in protecting the environment. He was also named one of Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers in 2013. Born in Kut, he earned his postgraduate degree and doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Southern California. He spent 20 years working with Pacific Soils Engineering, a consulting firm specializing in geological, geotechnical and environmental services in Southern California. He has also served on the board of directors of the Iraq Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit organization promoting democracy and human rights in Iraq. In 1998, Alwash started Eden Again, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, to bring attention to the environmental disaster caused by Saddam Hussein’s destruction of the marshlands in southern Iraq. He gives speeches to international audiences and continues to promote the restoration of Iraq’s southern marshlands, as well as education reform in Iraq.