Saudi Arabia Appoints First Female Ambassador to U.S.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has appointed its first female ambassador to the United States, who is to replace Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s younger brother, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

The new ambassador, Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, is a member of the Saudi royal family and an advocate for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. She is currently working with the Saudi General Sports Authority toward the inclusion of more women in sports.

The princess also worked with the Ministry of Education to ensure physical education for girls in schools and promote a more active lifestyle. She further championed a gender-integrated team to the Special Olympics, CNN writes.

In 2018, the newly appointed ambassador welcomed the kingdom’s lifting of the ban on women driving, applauding the Saudi government’s move, and commended Prince bin Salman for pushing for reform in the country.

In praising her country for its recent social reforms, including allowing women to enter sports stadiums, the princess said, “Yes—we would’ve liked to see it sooner, but the fact that we are doing it today for me, absolutely, it’s wonderful.”

Princess Reema’s father Bandar bin Sultan al Saud was also the kingdom’s ambassador to the U.S. between 1975 and 2005, during which period she lived in Washington where she attended George Washington University.

The appointment of Princess Reema comes at a time when Saudi Arabia and the United States are making efforts to smooth relations following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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