Rondi receiving her Peabody Award with Diane Sawyer.


With her skills in storytelling and truth-seeking, Rondi aspired to shift gears and become a cultural reporter like her idol, the late great Charles Kuralt of CBS Sunday Morning. After being accepted into the NYU Graduate School of Journalism, and in an unexpected turn of events, she won an investigative award that led to her being hired by ABC News. Beginning as a researcher, and then as an Associate Producer, Rondi became a part of Diane Sawyer’s legendary investigative team, winning numerous awards, including an Emmy and Peabody, for their undercover work in health care, corporate and government waste and malfeasance, and women’s issues.

Rondi receiving her Emmy Award for ABC News at the Waldorf Astoria. 1994.


Most recently, Rondi co-created Resilience Music Alliance, (RMA), a mission-driven record label, with her husband, Steve Ruchefsky. RMA is dedicated to empowering artists who celebrate and embody the human condition of resilience.

RMA champions music from outstanding artists, including young piano phenom Matthew Whittaker, (featured on 60 Minutes, and soon to be Juilliard grad), and well as the Grammy Award winning ensemble, Ranky Tanky, whose self titled debut album catapulted them to fame after a feature on Terry Gross’ Fresh Air. Ranky Tanky specializes in jazz-influenced arrangements of traditional Gullah music, a culture that originated among their ancestors – enslaved Africans in the low country region of South Carolina. RMA has also released the brilliant Grammy Award winners Arturo O’Farill, Michel Camillo as well as three-time Grammy nominee, renowned jazz vocalist Kate McGarry.

Receiving the Grammy Award on-stage with Ranky Tanky for RMA.  2020.

The Resilience Conversations

For the RMA label, Rondi returned to her journalistic roots, to create a series of webcast interviews, The Resilience Conversations, which explore the theme of resilience with visionaries including Deepak Chopra, Senators Cory Booker (D. NJ) and Chris Murphy (D. CT), and astrophysicist and best-selling author Brian Greene. “It’s thrilling to have the chance to talk with such deep thinkers, and I enjoy sharing their astute and inspiring insights with our musical community.

With Deepak Chopra.

“I’ve had several chapters in my life. I’ve gone from being an actor and opera singer at Juilliard, to the world of investigative journalism at ABC News, and now, back to my first love, which is traditional and contemporary jazz,” Charleston explains.

“There’s a lot more uniting all these things than meets the eye. In each case, you’re telling a story and in it, hopefully, revealing a powerful truth, whether it’s a corporate cover-up or a deep, hidden emotion.”


— Rondi Charleston

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