Anousheh Ansari (Persian: انوشه انصاری; née Raissyan; born September 12, 1966, in Mashhad, Iran) is an engineer and the Iranian-American co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems.
The Ansari family is also the title sponsor of the Ansari X Prize. On September 18, 2006, a few days after her 40th birthday, she became the first Iranian in space. Ansari was the fourth overall self-funded space tourist, and the first self-funded woman to fly to the International Space Station.
Apart from her native Persian, she is fluent in English and French, and acquired a working knowledge of Russian for her spaceflight experience.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and computer science at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and her master’s degree at George Washington University in Washington D.C.