Presidential Lecture Series

Maysoon Zayid

Recognition Year: 
2015-16

Actress, professional standup comedian, and writer

March 22, 2016

7 p.m. Lecture
Apollo Room, Student Union

5:30 p.m. Public Reception
Endeavour Room (E156), Student Union

Co-sponsored with Honors Institute and Office of Disability Services

Maysoon Zayid earned a bachelor’s in acting at Arizona State University and is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival. Zayid was a full-time on-air contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann and has recently appeared on The Queen Latifah Show and Huffington Post Live.

Zayid is a recurring columnist at The Daily Beast and was a speaker at TEDWomen 2013. She has appeared on Comedy Central, PBS, CNN, HBO, MTV, ABC, and BBC, and had a feature role in Adam Sandler’s You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. As a professional comedian, Zayid has performed in top New York clubs and toured extensively at home and abroad. She was a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour. Her screenplay, LAW, was chosen for the Sundance Middle Eastern Screenwriters Lab.

She was a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention and named one of 21 leaders of the 21st century by Women’s Enews. Zayid is the founder of Maysoon’s Kids, an education and wellness program for disabled and wounded refugee children. She was delighted to be a 2013 honoree of the United Cerebral Palsy of NYC Women Who Care Awards and currently sits on that organization’s planning committee.