Saudi: Princess Reema Bint Bandar Named As Its First Female Ambassador

A Saudi royal decree by Deputy King Prince Mohammed bin Salman was issued on Saturday appointing Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud as the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States with a ministerial ranking, making her the Kingdom’s first female ambassador.

Princess Reema is the daughter of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who also served as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the US from 1983 to 2005. Prince Bandar was previously the Secretary-General of Saudi Arabia’s National Security Council and he also served as Director General of the General Intelligence Presidency.

A graduate of George Washington University in Washington, DC, she has been active in the public and private sectors of Saudi Arabia, working toward women’s empowerment.

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In 2013, the princess founded Alf Khair, a social enterprise with a mission to provide access to opportunities for Saudi women by offering professional guidance and management.

In 2016, Princess Reema was appointed as the Undersecretary of the Women’s Division in the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia. A year later, she became the President of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports, making her the first woman to lead a federation covering sporting activities for men and women in the Kingdom. Prior to being appointed as the US Ambassador, she was the Vice President for Development and Planning at the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority.

Princess Reema had previously said her role was to empower women. “As a woman in government, my role is actually to keep highlighting the issues that will help us move forward holistically, not just for an elite community,” she said in a 2018 CNN interview.

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The role of women had become a key pillar to the to Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to have women play a greater role in society and seeks to raise women’s participation in the workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent.

Having previously filled many ‘first roles’ for women in the Kingdom, Princess Reema’s latest first is Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, a position formerly held by Prince Khalid bin Salman, who was appointed as Deputy Defense Minister on Saturday.

Source: Al Arabiya