Kira Kazantsev - 2017 Festival Queen
Kira Kazantsev is a tireless advocate on women’s issues, keynote speaker, host, and podcaster. She served as Miss America 2015.
Kira has contributed writing pieces to the Huffington Post, USA Today, and has appeared on HuffPost Live, The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, Live with Kelly and Michael, Jimmy Kimmel, Access Hollywood, Extra, Inside Edition, and countless news outlets throughout the US and Canada. She has been a presenter at numerous award shows including the American Music Awards, Academy of Country Music, American Country Countdown, and the Billboard Music Awards.
During her year as Miss America, Kira served as the National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, advocated on behalf of her personal platform: Love Shouldn’t Hurt: Protecting Women Against Domestic Violence, and was the first Miss America since 1971 to visit troops overseas with the USO.
As an advocate against Domestic Violence, Kira has been a long-time partner with Safe Horizon, the largest provider of Domestic Violence services in the country. She recently received their “Voice of Empowerment” award and serves on their Leaders on the Horizon board. She worked with Safe Horizon to create the #PutTheNailInIt campaign, which has reached over 20 million people, encouraging them to show their support against Domestic Violence.
Kira has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences, fundraising events, and universities including Clemson University, San Diego State University, and the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. She has also traveled all across the country visiting schools grades K-12 and youth summits to promote STEM initiatives, nontraditional gender roles, anti-bullying, internet etiquette/safety, mutual respect and healthy relationships.
An accomplished singer, Kira has sung at the NBA All Star Game, MLB games, and entertained thousands of troops during her USO tour. From an early age, she has also been a standout golfer and played in the 2015 and 2016 BMW Celebrity Pro Am Tournaments, 2015 Gary Player Invitational, 2016 Powershares QQQ Pro Am, and 2016 Tiger Jam for the Tiger Woods foundation among many others. In 2017, Golf.com named Kira one of the Most Beautiful Women in Golf in the annual editorial.
Kira studied Political Science, Global Studies, and Geography at Hofstra University Honors College and graduated in 2013. She is currently based in Los Angeles and is the Director of Community Engagement for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. She also continues to work in freelance television hosting and entertainment and is trilingual speaking Russian, Spanish, and English.