Eliza Orlins

Eliza Orlins was born in New York City to parents Susan and Steve. She grew up splitting her time between NYC and China. When she was four years old, she and her parents went to Beijing where they adopted her sister, Sabrina. Sixteen months later, her youngest sister, Emily, was born. Her father's career moved them to Hong Kong where she spent two years attending Hong Kong International School. Her family then moved back to New York until 1995 when they moved to Washington, D.C. In 2001, Orlins graduated from the Sidwell Friends School where she ran varsity track and cross country. She also completed the Marine Corps Marathon with the AIDS Marathon Training Program her junior year.


In 2004, Orlins was the youngest contestant on the CBS reality television show Survivor. She finished in fourth place out of 18 contestants, lasting 37 out of 39 days before being voted off, in a season that was filmed in Vanuatu.  Then in 2008, Orlins returned to Survivor on a season called Fans vs. Favorites, as an “all-star.”


In 2005, Orlins graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University in international relations and political science and a minor in Chinese. At Syracuse, she was a Dean's Scholar and made Dean's List every semester. Orlins also received Phi Beta Kappa honors upon her graduation. As a member of Alpha Phi Sorority, she was the vice president of New Member Recruitment, for which her chapter won the award for best overall recruitment at their national convention.


Orlins received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in December 2008. At Fordham, Orlins participated in many school activities. In law school, she described herself as insanely over-committed, but happy. She was the Co-Intraschool Editor of the Brendan Moore Trial Advocates (Fordham's Mock Trial Team), the Co-Symposium Editor for the Urban Law Journal and the President of the Fordham Law Democrats. For the Moores, Orlins competed in multiple trial advocacy competitions, bringing home an individual award for Best Opening Statement at the National Trial Advocacy Competition held at Michigan State University in Fall 2006. For the Urban Law Journal, Orlins and her co-editor conducted a symposium on the constitutionality of lethal injection.


Orlins is currently doing her dream job as a public defender. She is a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society, criminal defense practice in Manhattan.

Orlins recently completed her first triathlon and is looking forward to being part of the Champion System Team, ACT! She looks forward to doing more triathlons and other races in the near future.

Eliza Orlins will be part of the all female Champion System team participating in the 2012 REV3 Epic Adventure Race set for April 21-22.