Samira Panah Bakhtiar is attuned to the powerful relationship that can be forged between digital media and technology. As Director of Global Media & Entertainment at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Samira leads a team of highly passionate engineers and sales team members who evangelize this every day. Over the course of the last decade, her work at AWS and at Cisco (where she served as Managing Director for their Media Operation) has led to strategic alignment and business transformation, with some of the world’s largest media conglomerates—focusing on introducing innovation and enhancing operational efficiency in the areas of production, contribution, post production, and primary & secondary distribution.
Samira’s humanitarian work focuses on the abolishment of human trafficking and she has worked as an advocate with the Half the Sky Movement, sat on the board of Together1Heart (an anti-human trafficking organization based in Cambodia), and helped to organize the first Global Citizen Festival in 2012. Her philanthropic work has always been a strong personal driver, and as a result, Samira launched Bridge2Act in 2015, a venture which was focused on transforming the giving landscape through the use of technology. A graduate of the prestigious executive development program, Betsy Magness Leadership Institute (Class 35), Samira continues to find ways to connect and inspire other ambitious women in Tech. In 2017 she was the inaugural winner of the Woman to Watch in Technology by Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and named a 40 Under 40 by NYC Television in 2019.
Samira graduated Summa Cum Laude in Finance from the University of Arizona with her B.S., and Magna Cum Laude with her MBA from Fordham University. In her spare time Samira loves traveling, practicing Muay Thai Kick Boxing, Hot Yoga, and hitting up the culinary scene with her husband, Koorosh, who is a restaurateur in Manhattan (Jajaja Plantas Mexicana, Gelso & Grand). Samira also has a 2 year old Son, Dariush who she adores.