Suleika Jaouad (pronounced: su-LAKE-uh ja-WAD) is a journalist, advocate, public speaker and cancer survivor. She wrote the Life, Interrupted column and is the subject of the accompanying video series in The New York Times, which earned her a 2012 News & Documentary Emmy Award. She has also written for The New York Times Magazine, NPR, Vogue, Glamour and Women's Health. Her first book, Between Two Kingdoms, is forthcoming from Random House. Suleika was listed among Mogul’s “35 Under 35” most influential and innovative young women worldwide.
Born in New York City to a Tunisian father and a Swiss mother, Suleika attended The Juilliard School's pre-college program for the double bass and received her B.A. with highest honors from Princeton University where she majored in Near Eastern Studies and double minored in Gender Studies and French. During her time at Princeton, Suleika worked on various human rights campaigns for the Center for Constitutional Rights, Oxfam and the African Union. Her research and reporting projects took her everywhere from Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, to the Gaza border and Ethiopia.
Suleika’s career aspirations as a foreign correspondent were cut short when, at age 22, less than a year after graduating from college, she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia. After three years of chemotherapy, a life-saving clinical trial and a bone marrow transplant, she is now in remission. She began writing the Life, Interrupted column from the bone marrow transplant unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and has since become a fierce advocate for those living with cancer and other chronic illnesses.
Suleika travels around the country teaching writing workshops and she regularly speaks at high schools, universities, hospitals, corporations, fundraisers and professional events. She has been featured on NPR's Talk of The Nation and All Things Considered, NBC's Weekend Today Show, Ken Burns’ PBS documentary The Emperor of All Maladies, CBS News, The Paris Review, The Norton Field Guide to Writing, Vogue, Into The Gloss, The Los Angeles Times and Darling Magazine, among others.