Reema Bint Bandar al-Saud speaks during the investment conference in Riyadh.
(photo credit: REUTERS/FAISAL AL NASSER)
Princess Reema Bint Bandar bin Sultan will be the new ambassador to the United States, Saudi Arabia has announced. She will replace Prince Khaled bin Salman, son of the current king. Princess Reema’s father was ambassador to the US from 1983 to 2005.
She previously served as vice-President for planning and development of the General Sports Authority. She sought to modernize sport and women’s access to sport in the Kingdom. “The goal is to have a healthier nation,” she said last year in a speech in Washington. She is a keen supporter of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030.
The appointment of a woman as ambassador, in the historically conservative kingdom where women did not often hold major public roles, is an important step for Saudi Arabia. Washington is the Kingdom’s closest ally and this is a clear signal from Riyadh. She will now be key to that alliance as previous ambassadors have been. She has long experience in the US, having grown up there. She has been active in numerous campaigns to increase the role of Saudi women in professional spaces as well as increasing access to physical education for women in schools.
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