Tomorrow’s Leader: Sophia Kianni

Sophia Kianni is a 20-year-old student studying climate science and public policy at Stanford University. She also represents the U.S as the youngest member of the inaugural United Nations Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change.
25 June 2023

When Sophia was in middle school, she took a trip to visit her family in Iran. Even though she was learning about the climate in her school classes, Sophia quickly realized that none of her family overseas knew anything about the dangers of climate change. Much of this was due to the fact that none of the climate information was translated into Farsi, so Sophia stepped up and made a change.

Sophia is the founder and executive director of Climate Cardinals, an international nonprofit with 8,000 volunteers in 40+ countries working to translate climate information into over 100 languages. Sophia believes her organization’s mission—to make sure that every person, regardless of the language they speak, can learn about climate change—is key to solving the climate emergency facing our world right now.

Sophia’s work has been featured in news outlets including Forbes, CNN, Business Insider, BBC, NPR, ELLE, TIME Magazine, The Guardian, NBC, and even on the front page of The Washington Post. She was previously a fellow with PBS NewsHour and has written for news outlets such as MTV News, Cosmopolitan, Refinery 29, and Teen Vogue. She is a prolific public speaker and has spoken at universities across the United States including Columbia University, UC Berkeley, Emory University, and Harvard University. She gave her debut TED Talk as the closing speaker at the inaugural TED Countdown Conference.

She has been named VICE Media’s youngest Human of the Year, a National Geographic Young Explorer, and BuzzFeed’s youngest Woman to Watch. At such a young age, we commend Sophia for her efforts to help the environment all around the globe. We are excited to see what is to come for Sophia and the Climate Cardinals!