Rabia Chaudry

The fight for justice goes far beyond Serial

Rabia Chaudry is an attorney, advocate, and author of the New York Times bestselling book “Adnan’s Story” and Executive Producer of a four-part HBO documentary “The Case Against Adnan Syed.”  Rabia is also co-producer and co-host of two podcasts, Undisclosed and The 45th. With nearly 300 million downloads, Undisclosed is the biggest wrongful conviction podcast in the world, and the Undisclosed has helped exonerate half a dozen defendants, and find new evidence to get over a dozen defendants back in court. The 45th is a weekly podcast examining the policies and politics of the 45th US Presidential administration. 

Rabia was a 2016 Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at U.S. Institute of Peace, where she researched the intersection of religion and violent extremism in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  She came to USIP from the New America Foundation, where she was an International Security Fellow, developing and leading a CVE (countering violent extremism) community project in partnership with Google, Facebook and Twitter.  Her work New America focused on the empowerment of American Muslim communities in social media advocacy.

In 2011 Rabia founded the Safe Nation Collaborative, a CVE  training firm, which worked on two fronts: providing CVE and cultural competency training to law enforcement, correctional, and homeland security officials, and providing national security and CVE training to Muslim communities and institutions.  During it’s existence, Safe Nation worked with the US Department of Homeland Security, US Department of Justice, the National Counter Terror Center, the Maryland State Police and Correctional Officer Training Commission, and the DC Metro Police Department. As a senior CVE analyst and consultant, Rabia worked on both domestic and international CVE projects with government and nonprofit sectors. 

Rabia received her Juris Doctorate from the George Mason School of Law and practiced immigration and civil rights law for over a decade before moving into the CVE policy sphere.  

Rabia is a 2016 Aspen Ideas Scholar and on the Vanguard Board at the Aspen Institute, Fellow of the Truman National Security Project, a Fellow of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, and a Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute.  Rabia is the recipient of the Truman National Security Project’s 2015 Harry S. Truman Award for Communications & Media Influence, is a 2015 Carnegie Corporation Great Immigrant, and is the recipient of the 2015 Healing & Hope award by the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth

Rabia is currently working on a new podcast project in partnership with iHeartMedia and her second book, “Fatty Fatty Boom Boom”, a memoir on food, fat, and family, due to be published in 2020 by Algonquin Books, and is a frequent public speaker and writer. 

Popular Topics

Unmasking a Murderer

How do you prove the innocence of convicted murderer? A look at the murder case at the center of the global phenomenon and most famous podcast in history, Serial. As a lawyer and advocate, Rabia walks through the facts of the crime and conviction, explains the criminal justice, racial, and religious issues that shaped the case, gives a behind the scenes look at the creation of Serial and subsequent HBO series The Case Against Adnan Syed, and how she leveraged the global interest into launching her own successful wrongful conviction podcast, Undisclosed, which has helped to exonerate over half a dozen innocent defendants. 

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Rabia has been advocate for over twenty years, writing, speaking and working on issues that deeply impacted the American Muslim community after 9/11: flawed counterterrorism policies that led to widespread surveillance and wrongful arrests and prosecutions, immigration laws passed to target Muslim populations, discrimination and bigotry in media and politics, and the general rising fear, suspicion, and even hate of Muslims in the country. For years, that advocacy attempted to fight Islamophobia using facts and data – and it spectacularly failed. In this talk Rabia makes the case for storytelling as the most powerful way to shape the opinions of others in advocacy, policy, media, a courtroom, or even in a personal conversation, and how to be an effective storyteller. 

So You’ve Been Cancelled?

In 2015, Rabia joined the first cohort of prominent American Muslim Fellows to join the Shalom Hartman Institute, an Israeli theological seminary, for a controversial mission. For a year, the cohort studied with the Institute to try and understand the connection of the State of Israel to the religion of Judaism, but they did so in complete secrecy, knowing it would ignite a firestorm in the American Muslim community. And when word got out, that was exactly what happened. In this talk, Rabia shares the experience of being “cancelled” – boycotted and shamed online by your own community, how to deal with online trolling, and what it takes to stand firm in your convictions when the going gets tough. 

Tip of the Iceburg

They say every success story is just the tip of the iceberg that we can see, resting on years of failures and challenges. In this talk, Rabia shares her personal journey of challenges that shaped every step of her life. From domestic violence to sexual assault, single parenthood and near poverty, failing the bar exam multiple times, Rabia’s career and personal path was riddled with struggles. This talk explains how struggles can create compassion and empathy, and how they can be the stepping stones to success. 

Fatty Fatty Boom Boom

Based on the title of Rabia’s upcoming book, this talk is about living a lifetime fighting weight while loving food, and what it finally took to call it a draw. 


Entertainment Weekly

Her drive to exonerate the Serial subject reopened a seemingly shut case. Rabia Chaudry just might change the course of justice.


Rabia Chaudry on the urgency of Justice Work


Rabia Chaudry on why race and religion are key to The Case Against Adnan Syed