Cyrus is a Democrat and one of the 49 members of the Washington State Senate. He is the first and only Iranian-American elected to a state office in the United States.
Habib was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to parents who emigrated from Iran. A three-time cancer survivor, he lost his eyesight and became fully blind at age eight. Shortly afterwards, his family moved to Bellevue, Washington, where Habib graduated from theBellevue International School in 1999.
Habib is a Rhodes Scholar, a Truman Scholar, and a Soros Fellow. He received his B.A. from Columbia University, where he graduatedSumma Cum Laude and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. A student of comparative literature, Habib studied under a number of the 20th century’s leading literary critics, including Jacques Derrida, Edward Said, Harold Bloom, and Gayatri Spivak. While an undergraduate, Habib worked in the New York City office of then Senator Hillary Clinton.
As a Rhodes Scholar, Habib obtained a Master of Letters in English Literature from Oxford University, where he was an active member of the Oxford Union, and wrote his masters thesis on Ralph Ellison and Salman Rushdie.
Returning to the United States, Habib received his J.D. degree from Yale Law School, where he served as an Editor of the Yale Law Journal and was mentored and influenced by Judge Guido Calabresi and Professors Akhil Amar and Harold Koh.
After graduating from Yale, Habib returned to Washington State, and began practicing law at Perkins Coie in Seattle, where he advised technology startups, and leads the firm’s civic and community initiatives.
In 2012, Habib, a Democrat, was elected with 61% of the vote to represent Washington’s 48th Legislative District, which includesBellevue, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, Kirkland, Medina, Redmond, and Yarrow Point, in the Washington State House of Representatives. Habib set a record for the most money ever raised (over $340,000) in a State House race in Washington. In the House of Representatives, Habib was selected by his peers to serve as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Technology and Economic Development.
On November 4, 2014, Habib was elected to the Washington State Senate with 65% of the vote to succeed controversial Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom as State Senator from the 48th Legislative District. Immediately after his election to the State Senate, Habib was elected Senate Democratic Whip by his fellow Democrats, placing him in one of the top leadership positions in the State Senate.
Habib is the first and only Iranian-American elected to a state office in the United States, and to date the highest ranking Iranian-American.
In 2014, Habib was named one of the “40 Under 40 Political Rising Stars” by the Washington Post. He was also named one of “12 State Legislators to Watch” by Governing Magazine. Seattle Magazine has named him one of the “most influential” people in the greater Seattle area.
Since 2013, Habib has been Professor and Distinguished Lawmaker in Residence at the Seattle University School of Law, where he teaches upper-level courses and conducts research on issues at the convergence of technology and public policy.
He serves on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations, including the historic 5th Avenue Theatre.