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Kira Kazantsev
Kira Kazantsev 2 March 2015.jpg
Kazantsev in March 2015
Born July 20, 1991 (1991-07-20) (age 29)
Alma mater Hofstra University
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Title Miss City of New York 2014
Miss New York 2014
Miss America 2015
Term September 14, 2014 – September 13, 2015
Predecessor Nina Davuluri
Successor Betty Cantrell
Partner(s) Andrew Dixon

Kira Kazantsev (born July 20, 1991) is an American beauty pageant titleholder who won Miss America 2015 on September 14, 2014. She is the third consecutive Miss America winner from New York and had won the title of Miss New York on May 24, 2014 while serving as Miss City of New York.

Early life and education

Kazantsev was born in San Francisco, California, to Russian immigrants who left Moscow in 1990 for the United States, making her a first-generation American. Her father, George, is a general surgeon and her mother, Julia is a real-estate broker. She has one brother. Kazantsev is trilingual, being fluent in English, Russian, and Spanish.

Kira Kazantsev March 2015
Kira Kazantsev 2015

She graduated from Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, California and served as the student body president in 2009. She attended Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York with a triple major in political science, global studies, and geography. During junior year at Hofstra University, she studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain.

After graduating from Hofstra, Kazantsev applied to numerous law schools and was accepted to Notre Dame Law School and Fordham Law School. She stated in interviews, after being named Miss America 2015, her desire to specialize in international law upon receiving her law degree.

In the summer of 2017, Kazantsev attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business completing the Stanford Ignite entrepreneurship program, which teaches innovators to formulate, develop, and commercialize their ideas.

Pageantry

Early pageantry

At age 13, she was named Miss California Preteen, and at age 16, she served as Miss California Jr.

Miss New York 2013

Kazantsev competed in the Miss New York 2013 pageant as Miss Cosmopolitan. She placed in the Top 10.

Miss New York 2014

The following year, Kazantsev competed in the Miss New York 2014 pageant as Miss City of New York. She won the title of Miss New York 2014

Miss America 2015

Kazantsev, representing New York, was one of the 52 delegates competing in the Miss America 2015 pageant held in Atlantic City, New Jersey in September 2014, she won the title. Her win made New York the first state to have a Miss America winner three years in a row. Apart from the title, Kira won a $50,000 scholarship to continue her education, which she planned to use towards law school.

Miss America role

Wound Warrior activities 150826-N-LD343-002
Kira Kazantsev speaks to Wounded Warriors at Naval Medical Center San Diego

As Miss America, Kazantsev served as the official National Goodwill Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Additionally, to further promote her platform of "Love Shouldn't Hurt", Kazantsev teamed up with Safe Horizon to launch the #PutTheNailinIt campaign with the aim to "end domestic violence for good." The campaign aims to spread awareness of domestic violence by painting your ring fingernail purple.

On November 23, 2014, Kazantsev appeared as a presenter at the 42nd Annual American Music Awards in Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, in Los Angeles, California. On December 15, 2014, she appeared as a presenter at the American Country Countdown Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. She also presented at the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 19, 2015, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. On May 17, 2015, she appeared as a presenter with Pete Wentz at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Kazantsev was also the first Miss America in 35 years to travel with the United Service Organizations (USO) and visit troops abroad.

Career

She has had summer internships at a political consultancy in Washington, D.C., served as a volunteer for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's 2012 re-election campaign, waited tables, interned at a local affiliate of Planned Parenthood, launched a food blog and served as a hostess.

Kazantsev currently serves as the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals' Director of Digital Channels and Community Engagement.

In November 2017 Kazantsev launched a podcast called "What We Do," in which every week she talks with women about, "the tough issues, the challenges we’ve faced, the best moments, the funny moments and the not so great moments."

Personal life

On September 4, 2018, Kazantsev announced her engagement to long-time boyfriend and Marine, Andrew Dixon.

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