Adjunct Senior Fellow, Middle East Security Program
Suzanne Kianpour is the presenter of BBC’s ‘Out of the Shadows,’ where she recently spoke with former Mossad chief, CIA director and IRGC general in the same programme, and her reporting can be found across BBC platforms. She is also the creator and host of ‘Women Building Peace,’ where her guests have included former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and a host of ‘The Inquiry,’ where she was among the first journalists to report on NFTs before they became a household name. Kianpour also served as the Capitol Hill correspondent for ‘The Context’ with Christian Fraser on BBC World News.
Kianpour has spent over a decade as a foreign affairs and political journalist. Her work has taken her to over 60 countries, shuttling between Washington and warzones and from helmets to heels. She has landed multiple high profile exclusive interviews including Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and President Obama post the Iran Nuclear Deal. Her BBC film ‘America’s Place in the World’ features her exclusive sit downs with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senator Mitt Romney, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and UK foreign secretary David Miliband.
A skilled moderator and public speaker, Kianpour maneuvers from asking the tough questions on a stage at high profile events like the World Economic Forum and the UN General Assembly, to educating and encouraging students, motivating through personal experiences, as a professor of Public Diplomacy at UCLA and a 2018 fellow at the Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service. As part of her work in countering disinformation, she’s the author of “Iranian Digital Influence Efforts: Guerilla Broadcasting for the Twenty-First Century.”
Kianpour has been nominated for an Emmy, awarded as a successful alum under 40 by her alma mater, profiled as a person to watch in Washington Life magazine’s “Power Issue” and listed as one of DC’s most influential leaders under 40 for several years in a row. She is also on the advisory board of the Women’s Crypto Organizing & Investment Network, a member of Council on Foreign Relations and the Meridian International Center’s Rising Leader’s Council, and on the board of the Friends of the American University in Afghanistan.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia with a Persian and Sicilian background, she’s fluent in written and verbal Farsi, conversational in Spanish, basic proficiency in Italian and French and began learning Arabic while based in Lebanon for the BBC. She’s a graduate of Emory University – where she studied abroad at Oxford University – and attended Georgetown University post-grad.