Suzanne Kianpour -
A newswoman and academic with an informed, motivating and inspiring voice, breaking through age and gender barriers, turning a diverse cultural background into a journalistic asset with a unique perspective, specialising in making news, politics and foreign policy relatable.
Suzanne Kianpour is an Emmy-nominated journalist with over a decade of experience in TV, radio and digital journalism, working on the front lines of some of the world’s biggest breaking news stories, providing insight and analysis on leading political and foreign policy issues, informed by both a vast network of international contacts and extensive on-the-ground experience at home and abroad.
Suzanne began her career covering foreign affairs, politics, national security and breaking news at NBC News and Fox News before running around the world for the BBC.
With postings in Washington, Beirut, London and Los Angeles, her reporting has taken her all over: from various conflict zones in the Middle East, to Europe traveling with then-Secretary of State John Kerry at the heart of the Iran nuclear negotiations, to Latin America and the US detente with Cuba, to name a few.
In 2016, she criss-crossed America – covering presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and ultimately returned to Washington, the Trump White House and the corridors of Capitol Hill, covering the multiple investigations into Trump/Russia ties.
Over the course of her career, she has landed multiple high profile exclusive interviews including Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif – the BBC’s first interview with an Iranian official since being banned from the country in 2009 and Khaled Meshaal – Hamas leader in exile in Doha – during the Gaza War of 2014. Suzanne also played a leading role in securing the first sit down TV interview with President Obama post the Iran Nuclear Deal being agreed.
With a specialty and expertise in Iran and the broader Middle East, Suzanne contributes analysis to Atlantic Council - where she is a non-resident senior fellow, moderates foreign policy panel discussions at think tanks and teaches public diplomacy at University of California - Los Angeles.
Her action packed CV spans 52 countries, from helmet to heels: chasing down politicians in Washington, microphone in hand then covering the far-flung locales they make policy about in a flak jacket, and back.
The plane hopping, middle of the night deployment calls, covering tragedy
in society and triumph on the campaign trail, criss-crossing America with Presidential candidates and the world with US Secretaries of State, has given her a front row seat to history and resulted in her putting people over politics and working to keep the public service in journalism.
A skilled moderator and public speaker, Suzanne manoeuvres from asking the tough questions on a stage, to actively teaching the next generation on campus and encouraging students to pursue careers in journalism to keep the fourth estate alive and thriving, motivating through personal experiences. She was a fellow at the Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service where she lead discussions on the media's role and responsibility in society. She's also guest lectured at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
Suzanne was named among Emory University's Class of 2019 40 under 40 alumni and she's listed in Washington Life magazine as one of DC’s most influential leaders under 40 for several years in a row. At age 28, she was profiled as a person to watch in the magazine’s May 2015 “Power Issue.”
She is also on the board of the Friends of the American University of Afghanistan and the Women’s Public Leadership Network – as part of her passion and pursuit to get more women educated and involved in public service and national security.
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 studied at Emory University, University of Oxford and Georgetown University.