P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Cyrus Habib, 2007

Lieutenant Governor, Washington State

Cyrus Habib is the child of immigrants from Iran

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a JD in Law at Yale University

Cyrus Habib was elected Lieutenant Governor of Washington state in November 2016 at the age of 35. He had previously been elected to the State House of Representatives in 2012 and the State Senate in 2014, where he was Democratic Whip.

He is the first blind lawmaker elected in 50 years, and the first Iranian-American elected in the US. A Seattle native, Cyrus was born to parents who emigrated from Iran in the 1970s.

Cyrus received his B.A. summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University in 2003, where he double-majored in Middle East Studies and English and Comparative Literature. He then attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, obtaining an MLitt in Postcolonial English Literature. In 2009, Cyrus graduated from Yale Law School.

A Truman Scholar, Cyrus worked for Senators Cantwell and Clinton during his college years. At Yale, he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. He also co-authored an appellate brief under the supervision of the law school's dean, Harold Hongju Koh, testified before Congress on potential changes to U.S. currency and managed a judicial campaign in Washington State. He also served as a Teaching Fellow in Yale's political science department, and worked on the landmark Guantanamo Bay detention case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

In 2006, Cyrus worked on Middle East business development in Google's London office, and during his second year in law school he worked part-time for Goldman Sachs' Private Equity Group in New York. In 2008, he worked on the legal team representing Obama for America at Perkins Coie.

Cyrus's publications have appeared in the Washington Post, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Houston Chronicle, and his photography has been published by Princeton Architectural Press.

  • JD Law | Yale University 2009
  • MA English | University of Oxford 2006
  • BA English and Middle East and Asian Language | Columbia University 2003
  • Harry S. Truman Scholar
Work History
  • Washington State, Lieutenant Governor
  • Washington State, State Senator
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