Prominent Arab American Women

Candy Lightner, founder of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers). MADD is the largest crime victims’ assistance organization in the world, with more than 3 million members and supporters.

Christa McAuliffe, the first school teacher and civilian to go into space on the space shuttle Challenger that exploded in 1986.

Mary Rose Oakar, former congresswoman of Ohio.

Helen Thomas, served for 57 years as a correspondent for United Press International and was dean of the White House press corps, is a Hearst newspaper syndicated columnist.

Selwa Roosevelt (Lucky), served seven and a half years as White House Chief of Protocol under President Reagan.

Queen Noor of Jordan

Donna Shalala, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under Bill Clinton, now President of the University of Miami.

Lucie Salhany, First woman to manage an American broadcast television network (first Fox Broadcasting Co. then United Paramount Network).

Callie Khouri, First woman to receive an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Thelma and Louise.

Diane Rehm is host and executive producer of “The Diane Rehm Show” on National Public Radio (NPR).

An award-winning comic actress from San Diego, Kathy Najimy, played a funloving nun in the “Sister Act” films. She co-starred as Olive, a Lebanese- American, in NBC-TV’s “Veronica’s Closet” with Kirstie Alley. Kathy is the voice of Peggy Hill on Fox-TV’s animated hit “King of the Hill.”

Salma Hayek, who is of Lebanese and Mexican descent, is another actress who has lit up the small screen (in cable TV’s movie “The Hunchback,” as the gypsy Esmeralda) and the big screen (Oscar-winning “Traffic,” “Desperado,” “Wild Wild West,” and “Frida,” about Mexican artist Frida Kahlo).

Shannon Elizabeth of “American Pie,” “Scary Movie,” and “Tomcats” is of Lebanese and Syrian ancestry.

Jehane Noujaim, co-directed and co-produced “”

Supermodel Yamila Diaz-Rahi, who is of Lebanese and Spanish descent, landed the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover in 2002. She has also graced the covers of Marie Claire, Elle, GQ, and Shape.

Reem Acra, is one of the world’s preeminent designers of bridal fashions and is known for her elaborate embroideries.

Hair accessories and jewelry designer Colette Malouf began her rise to the top in 1987 with the “Malouf Poof.” She is known for her innovative use of exotic materials and her celebrity clientele.

The first woman to design a major American art museum, Cincinnati’s $34 million Contemporary Art Center, is Iraqi-born Zaha Hadid.

Artist Ghada Amer‘s hand embroidered paintings were selected for the Whitney Biennial 2000 and the Venice Biennale in 1999.

Naomi Shihab Nye, an award-winning poet and author of children’s literature.

Opera prima donna Rosalind Elias hit the high notes at the Met.

Christy McNichol, co-star of the series “Empty Nest.”

Krystyne Haje, star of TV’s “head of the class” was once picked by People Magazine as one of the “50 most beautiful people in the U.S.”

Jennifer Shahade, Women’s International Chess Master won the 2002 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship.

Marcelle Wahba, U.S. ambassador to U.A.E.

Dr. Hala Salaam Maksoud, civil rights activist and former president of the American-Arab Antidiscrimination Committee (ADC).

Singer-dancer-choreographer Paula Abdul has had two number-one albums, six number-one singles, a Grammy award, and worldwide album sales exceeding 30 million records.

Tiffany, the first teenage singer ever to have her first two singles both hit number one, born Renee Darwish.

Pop star Shakira, of Colombian and Lebanese descent, has scored on the U.S. charts and is a multiple Grammy winner.

Danny’s daughter, Emmy Award-winning Marlo Thomas, was the first actress ever to play a single, independent young woman in the TV series, “That Girl.” She currently appears on TV’s “Friends” as Rachel’s mother and published a book, The Right Words at the Right Time.

Wendie Malick plays Nina Van Horn on NBC’s hit show “Just Shoot Me.”

Amy Yasbeck appeared in the hit sitcom “Wings” – the first time two Arab Americans have been featured in the same TV series (with Tony Shalhoub).

Yasmine Bleeth, who starred in the television shows “Baywatch” and “Nash Bridges.”

Ivonne Abdul Baki, ambassador of Ecuador to the U.S., ran for President of Ecuador.

Nora Boustany, Washington Post columnist.

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, president of Common Sense about Kids and Guns and wife of Senator Edward Kennedy.

Fayrouz, world renowned Lebanese singer hit #1 in U.S.