Rudi Bakhtiar

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Rudi Bakhtiar
Born June 21, 1969
Fresno, California
Occupation Journalist

Rudi Bakhtiar (born "Rudabeh Bakhtiar" on June 21, 1969) is a producer for Thomson Reuters television. She is most known for anchoring a prime time national three-hour news cast in the United States, called "CNN Headline News Tonight". She also anchored other high profile newscasts for CNN, including Anderson Cooper 360. She has over a decade of experience working for major international news outlets CNN, Voice of America, and Reuters News.


Bakhtiar joined CNN in 1996 and held multiple positions in her 9 years at the cable news network, including anchoring "CNN Headline News Tonight" on the spin-off network, CNN Headline News. She also co-anchored CNN's Emmy nominated CNN Newsroom, and worked as a dedicated correspondent for "Anderson Cooper 360". Throughout her cable news career, she has reported on assignments from numerous countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle-East, including Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Iran, Israel, and the Palestinian territories.

She also anchored the start of CNN's coverage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Bakhtiar joined FOX News Channel (FNC) as a general correspondent in January 2006, reporting on major international news stories such as the Ahmadinejad-al-Maliki summit in Tehran, in September 2006, and the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein, in December of the same year.

In 2008, Bakhtiar switched careers to became the first Director of Public Relations for the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, an organization dedicated to building an inclusive and representative voice in the public and political arena for Iranian Americans. There, she produced mini-documentaries called "Profiles of Iranian Americans" which focused on the lives of successful Iranian Americans. She also created and produced the organization's signature star-studded community event "Passing the Torch of Success" before being pushed out of the organization due to her strong stance on Iran's human rights violations.[1]

In May 2011, Bakhtiar testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Sub-Committee on Iran's human rights crisis, claiming under the leadership of Ayatollah Khamenei "Iran has become one of the worst violators of human rights in the world...egregiously violating virtually every article of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Iran is a member state."[2]

Personal life

Bakhtiar was born to Iranian immigrants of Bakhtiari heritage; her father died of oropharyngeal cancer in 2005.[3][4] Bakhtiar has a younger brother and younger sister. Shapour Bakhtiar is Rudi Bakhtiar's father's uncle, the last Prime Minister of Iran under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and a great aunt of Bakhtiar's was the Shah of Iran's second wife (Soraya Esfandiary). Bakhtiar's great-grandfather is named Sardar Jang.[5]

By age two, her family moved from Fresno, California to Los Angeles. When she was five years old, her family moved back to Iran. Bakhtiar was raised in Iran until the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Her family moved back to the United States when she was seventeen years old.[5] She loved to ride horses as a child. Other hobbies include whitewater rafting, waterskiing, snow skiing, horseback riding, tennis, yoga, tae kwon do, and oil painting in her downtime.[6][7]

She attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received a Bachelor of Science in biology in 1990, planning to be a dentist; she was accepted to New York University Dental School, but had reservations about going to dental school.[8][9] In addition, she studied architecture at the Career Discovery Program at the Harvard School of Design.[10]

Bakhtiar is a fan of the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers sports teams.[11]

In 2009 she served as an official festival judge for the Noor Iranian Film Festival in Los Angeles.


In 2002, Bakhtiar received the Iranian American Republican Council Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding achievements, excellence and accomplishments within the Iranian American community.[citation needed] According to Lycos, she was ninth ranked in the top twenty TV news personalities with the most searches from January through August that year.[12]

In Washington DC, December 4, 2003, Bakhtiar was the Mistress of Ceremonies for the Iranian American Technology Council Gala.[13]

Bakhtiar was also the Mistress of Ceremonies for the University of California, Irvine lecture given by Shirin Ebadi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, on May 21, 2005.[3][14]


  1. "Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans Launches Nationwide". Payvand. April 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Center for Citizen Peacebuilding" (Real Audio). Retrieved 2007-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Goodman, Tim (October 26, 2005). "All the dirt on sci-fi shows and D.C. dramas Rudi Bakhtiar's absence on CNN strongly felt". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Johnson, Marilyn (August 17, 2002). "CNN Anchor Rudi Bakhtiar". Iran-va-Jahan. Retrieved 2007-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "CNNfyi". Archived from the original on March 17, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>]
  7. Lorrie, Lynch (November 30, 2003). "Celebs". USA Weekend Magazine. Retrieved 2007-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  8. "Introducing Rudi Bakhtiar". Fox Fan Central. Retrieved 2007-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Official Rudi Bakhtiar Facebook Page". Facebook. Retrieved 2009-10-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Tartakoff, Joseph (May 10, 2004). "CNN Anchor Speaks to Persian Society". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2007-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Wright, Todd (June 15, 2005). "Women of AllNight: Rudi Bakhtiar". Archived from the original on June 24, 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Schatz, Aaron (September 16, 2002). "Top TV News Personalities". Retrieved 2007-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "NIAC". Retrieved 2007-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Shirin Ebadi Lecture". May 21, 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • Rudi Bakhtiar at the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)