2018 Great Immigrants Recipient

Kumail Nanjiani
Actor and Writer
Born in:
Pakistan

“I grew up watching ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Knight Rider’ and Hot Wheels commercials,” actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani told “The New Yorker” in 2017. “When I got to college, having never set foot in America, I knew more American pop-culture references than my friends did.” After graduating from Grinnell College with a double major in computer science and philosophy, Nanjiani went on to star in the Emmy-nominated, HBO series “Silicon Valley,” as Dinesh Chugtai, a talented computer programmer originally from Pakistan. In 2017, he played himself in the semi-autobiographical romantic comedy film hit “The Big Sick,” which he wrote with his wife Emily V. Gordon, earning the pair an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Nanjiani also co-hosted “The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail,” which aired on Comedy Central for three seasons.  Nanjiani is currently co-writing “Little America,” a half-hour anthology series greenlit by Apple that tells the true stories of American immigrants. Updated July 2018