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HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar is Saudi’s First Female Ambassador to the US

In a royal decree, Saudi Arabia has replaced its former ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, with HH Princess Reema bint Bandar al Saud. The historic re-shuffle marks the first time a female assumes such a role.

HRH Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud. Photo: Getty

Shortly after the announcement, the Saudi royal, who is the executive vice-president of development and planning at the Kingdom’s Sport Authority, took to social media to offer her thanks to Crown Prince HH Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), for the appointment. “I extend the sincerest thanks and deepest gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince — may God protect them — for the generous and precious trust by appointing me as ambassador to the United States of America,” she wrote in Arabic on her Twitter account.

Princess Reema will take over the post from Prince Khalid bin Salman, son of King Salman and a younger brother of the crown prince, who assumed the role in 2017. Also in a royal decree on Saturday, Prince Khalid was named deputy defense minister under the crown prince, who heads the ministry.

Her royal highness is quite familiar with the American capital, having spent several years in Washington while her father Prince Bandar bin Sultan, was a former US ambassador and graduated with a degree in museum studies from George Washington University.

For decades, Princess Reema has been breaking glass ceilings and pushing against boundaries for Saudi women across the Kingdom. In 2016, she was appointed Vice President for Women’s Affairs of the General Sports Authority in Saudi Arabia, just days before the 2016 Olympics.

A staunch advocator for the empowerment of women, the ambitious businesswoman, entrepreneur, and humanitarian continues to build upon her long list of achievements and initiatives. Aside from being placed on Forbes’ list of 200 Most Powerful Arab Women in 2014, she’s also the founder of accessories label, Baraboux. Additionally, Her Royal Highness is the CEO of luxury retail company Alfa International (where she initiated the hiring of female employees) and she’s a member of Uber’s Public Policy Advisory board. Her vision to provide Saudi women with a safe mode of transportation spurred the launch of the online travel service in the Kingdom.

The George Washington University graduate also holds the Guinness World Record for the largest pink ribbon formed by women through her 10KSA initiative—a breast cancer campaign that spread awareness and raised funds for the Zahra Breast Cancer Association.

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