Rudi Bakhtiar (born Rudabeh Bakhtiar in California) is an Iranian journalist who has over a decade’s experience working for major international news outlets CNN and Fox News Channel. Bakhtiar is currently the Director of Communications for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Rudi Bakhtiar joined FOX News Channel (FNC) as a general correspondent in January 2006, and held that role until July 2007. Prior to joining FNC, Bakhtiar worked for nine years at CNN, joining the network in 1996. During her time at the network, she held multiple positions, including anchoring on the CNN’s spin-off network, Headline News, and as a co-anchor of CNN Newsroom, a 30-minute commercial free news program designed for use in the classroom. Throughout her cable news career, she has reported on assignments from numerous countries, in addition to anchoring the start of coverage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Prior to working as a news anchor, Bakhtiar worked as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company.
In 2008, Bakhtiar 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.
Bakhtiar was born to Iranian immigrants of Bakhtiari heritage; her father died of oropharyngeal cancer in 2005. 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.
By age two, her family moved from Fresno, California to Los Angeles, California. 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. 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.
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. In addition, she studied architecture at the Career Discovery Program at the Harvard School of Design.
In 2002, Bakhtiar received the Iranian American Republican Council Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding achievements, excellence and accomplishments within the Iranian American community. According to Lycos, she was ninth ranked in the top twenty TV news personalities with the most searches from January through August that year.
In Washington DC, December 4, 2003, Bakhtiar was the Mistress of Ceremonies for the Iranian American Technology Council Gala.
On February 15, 2004, Bakhtiar was the Mistress of Ceremonies (MC) for a Bam earthquake fundraiser that also honored US disaster assistance response teams. The event was organized by the House of Iran (a cultural organization support Iranian culture and traditions), with NIAC, IACA, Science and Arts Foundation, and IAPAC as the supporting organizations.