Ethan Zohn

  • Co-founder Grassroot Soccer
  • Cancer Survivor and National Ambassador for Stand Up to Cancer
  • Safe Use and Medical Cannabis Advocate
  • Winner of Survivor: Africa and Television Host

From winning Survivor and founding an HIV/AIDS non-profit with the prize winnings to his battle with cancer, the texture of Ethan’s life story is illuminated in the dynamic speeches he gives to groups big and small around the country. Weaving humor, wit and honesty, Ethan addresses students and student athletes in high schools and colleges, as well as corporate and professional organizations, about how his life’s opportunities and challenges are two sides of the same coin. It’s the values that you strengthen along the way – like muscles – that really matter. Ethan offers a keynote that inspires audiences to respond to life’s setbacks with strength and conviction of character. If you are looking for a recognizable face to deliver a deeply-felt, personalized and meaningful lesson on cancer, HIV & AIDS, Leadership, Character Development, Social Entrepreneurship, Service, Personal Growth, Overcoming Challenges, Healthy Living, Sports and/or Jewish Identity, Ethan is the ideal choice.


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Ethan Zohn headshot
Past Hosts Include:
  • Genentech
  • Institute for International Research (IIR)
  • Memphis Jewish Federation
Rave Reviews About Ethan Zohn as a Speaker
“By any measure, last night was a success. We had a very good turn

Promo - Ethan Zohn: A Story of Survival [4:31] - Get Sharable Link
Talks & Conversations with Ethan Zohn
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One Person Can

Having used his Survivor fame and fortune to establish an international nonprofit organization, Ethan Zohn stresses the importance of an individual’s duty to give back and shares ways we can all take an active role towards social change in our communities. ...

Having used his Survivor fame and fortune to establish an international nonprofit organization, Ethan Zohn stresses the importance of an individual’s duty to give back and shares ways we can all take an active role towards social change in our communities.

Character: The Ultimate Survivor Tool

Sharing character building experiences from his own life, Ethan delves deeply into the issue of character: where is comes from, why it matters, and how it can help make important decisions in one’s life. ...

Sharing character building experiences from his own life, Ethan delves deeply into the issue of character: where is comes from, why it matters, and how it can help make important decisions in one’s life.

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ETHAN ZOHN is a former professional soccer player, cancer survivor, winner of the hit reality television show Survivor Africa and co-founder of Grassroot Soccer. Demonstrated by his charitable work, volunteerism, and community involvement, Ethan believes that a better and healthier world can be achieved through education, advocacy, and inspiration.


With the $1 million prize money that he secured in winning the 2002 Survivor: Africa, Ethan co-founded Grassroot Soccer (GRS), a nonprofit organization that uses the power of soccer to strengthen communities and empower young people to stop the spread of HIV. Since 2002, GRS has graduated over 700,000 from its tailored, soccer-based HIV prevention-curriculum. GRS now directly implements programs throughout Southern Africa and partners with organizations to implement its curriculum in over 40 countries around the world. Ethan has contributed to GRS’ ability to develop a strong donor network, including Nike, the Gates Foundation, USAID, FIFA, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Barclays, Peace Corps and the MAC AIDS Fund. In the summer of 2010, Ethan and Grassroot Soccer teamed up with the (RED) Campaign to bring Soccer Skillz Camps to children in South Africa during the highly publicized and watched 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In August 2008, Ethan officially launched the Grassroot Soccer UNITED campaign, an international, youth-led movement to end HIV/AIDS in Africa, by embarking on a world-record-breaking 550-mile journey on foot, from Boston, MA, to Washington, D.C. – dribbling a soccer ball the entire route. Ethan also spearheaded the creation of the GRS Endurance Team which has enabled over 250 athletes to compete in the NY, Boston and LA Marathons and raising over $2,000,000. Ethan himself has competed in marathons on behalf of GRS, including running the 2010 and 2011 New York City Marathons, despite being diagnosed and undergoing treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He later captained the GRS Team and ran 2012 Los Angeles and Boston Marathons.


In April 2009, Ethan was diagnosed with CD 20+ Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After multiple rounds of chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplant, Ethan learned that his cancer had returned. Thanks to the dedication of a team of doctors, Ethan underwent a course of experimental treatment and received a second stem cell transplant, this time from his brother. Throughout his battle with cancer, Ethan served as a National Ambassador for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), and has since harnessed his industry connections in television to create SURVIVOR SU2C, through which donations are made to cancer research through the popular television show, Survivor.

In the fall of 2011, after 20 months of being in remission, Zohn was told his cancer had returned. He quickly and without hesitation persevered, using his platform to continue to be “the megaphone” for the young adult generation battling cancer. He engaged with his fans through autobiographical short on People Magazine’s Through an in-depth video web series, Ethan opened up about his fight against cancer, showing the raw truthfulness behind this disease – the humor, the fear, the doctors, hospitals, etc. Since 2011, Ethan has been a guest writer for the Huffington Post and penned a blog for called the “The Zohn Zone” about life after cancer. Today, he continues to use his celebrity to educate others about cancer research and advocacy across the country. Ethan is also a Global Envoy for The LIVESTRONG Foundation and is a national spokesperson for the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


The severities of both Ethan’s illness and its treatment, coupled with the debilitating anxiety of his cancer coming back post-treatment, led Ethan to experiment with, and ultimately adopt, cannabis and CBD as a form of palliative care.

The relative scarcity of safe, controlled options for cancer patients and other sufferers of acute illnesses, compounded by the overwhelming misinformation in a fast-growing legalized marketplace about use of CBD and cannabis, spurred Ethan to go public with his story and advocate for common sense use, regulation and education. He shared his story with People Magazine and now works with as an advisor and content editor/creator. CannabisMD created an original short film that documents how medical Cannabis helped him through his treatment and how CBD became the cure for his crippling anxiety. Be sure to check the video out HERE!

His moderating point of view, born out of his personal experience and concern for the public good, puts him at the rational center for an escalating dialog in the United States and internationally. What’s more, the mission to counter misleading information, allows Ethan to speak on his personal narrative and be a megaphone for those who may benefit from CBD and cannabis safe use and practice.


Ethan and Survivor Amazon Winner Jenna Morasca hosted the 2012 Daytime Emmy-nominated ABC show “Everyday Health.” They traveled around the country covering stories on amazing people who have gone through a health crisis and continue to use the power of the human spirit to not only better themselves, but also the communities around them. Ethan has also been featured in the award-winning documentary film A Closer Walk, and has been a host for the MSG Soccer Report (Madison Square Garden Network) and FC Fox (Fox Soccer Channel) and Outside Today (Outside Television Network). Ethan has also worked as a sideline commentator for the US Men’s National Soccer Team, Major League Soccer, NCAA College Soccer and for ESPN Radio. Ethan’s other television credits include The Amazing Race 19, Survivor All Stars, Eco-Challenge Fiji and Earth Tripping.


Ethan is a global ambassador for Beyond Sport, an organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change across the world. Ethan has also worked extensively with Autism Speaks, America Scores, Stupid Cancer, Maccabi USA, Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital’s Cycle for Survival and Be The Match. Ethan travels the world as a motivational speaker emphasizing character, leadership, resiliency, values and service to nurture the immense potential that young people have to change their world. Ethan routinely addresses high schools, colleges, corporate, and professional audiences, including United Synagogue Youth, Goldman Sachs, Young Professionals Organization, NCAA, WE Day, Atlantic Health Systems, Seattle Genetics, Genentech, Lynne Schusterman Foundation/ROI, Tribefest, and others.


Originally from Lexington, MA, Ethan graduated from Vassar College, where he majored in biology. After graduating from Vassar, Ethan played professional soccer for Highlanders FC (Zimbabwe), the Cape Cod Crusaders and the Hawaii Tsunami, as well as for the 1997 and 2001 U.S. National Maccabiah squads. From 1998 to 2002, Ethan was the Assistant Coach for Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Men and Women’s soccer teams. In 2003, he coached the U.S. Maccabiah team at the Pan-American Maccabiah Games in Chile.

Ethan’s latest endeavor is co-authoring a three-part children’s educational book series. Soccer World: South Africa was the #1 children’s book on for May/June 2010.