Rudabeh "Rudi" Bakhtiar (born June 21, 1969) is the first Iranian American journalist to anchor a prime time news hour in the United States, called "CNN Headline News Tonight". She has over a decade of experience working for major international news outlets CNN and Fox News Channel. Bakhtiar serves as senior advisor at Voice of America.
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.
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." 
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.
- "Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans Launches Nationwide". Payvand. 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
- "Center for Citizen Peacebuilding" (Real Audio). Retrieved 2007-02-27.
- Goodman, Tim (2005-10-26). "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.
- Johnson, Marilyn (2002-08-17). "CNN Anchor Rudi Bakhtiar". Iran-va-Jahan. Retrieved 2007-02-27.
- "CNNfyi". Retrieved 2007-02-27.[dead link]]
- Lorrie, Lynch (2003-11-30). "Celebs". USA Weekend Magazine. Retrieved 2007-02-27.[dead link]
- "Introducing Rudi Bakhtiar". Fox Fan Central. Retrieved 2007-02-27.
- "Official Rudi Bakhtiar Facebook Page". Facebook. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- Tartakoff, Joseph (2004-05-10). "CNN Anchor Speaks to Persian Society". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2007-02-27.
- Wright, Todd (2005-06-15). "Women of AllNight: Rudi Bakhtiar". Archived from the original on 2005-06-24. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
- Schatz, Aaron (2002-09-16). "Top TV News Personalities". Retrieved 2007-02-27.
- "NIAC". Retrieved 2007-02-27.
- "Shirin Ebadi Lecture". 2005-05-21. Retrieved 2007-02-27.
- Rudi Bakhtiar at the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)