Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

Saudi Princess Reema bint Bandar sworn in as Kingdom's ambassador to Washington

The Saudi royal is officially the first female ambassador in the history of the country

Saudi Princess Reema bint Bandar was sworn in as the kingdom’s ambassador to the US on Tuesday.

Princess Reema took the oath in front of King Salman in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, officially making her the country's first female ambassador.

She replaces Prince Khaled bin Salman, who is now the kingdom’s deputy defence minister.

Princess Reema was nominated for the role on February 23 and is now the 11th Saudi diplomatic representative to Washington.

Her brother, Prince Khaled bin Bandar, was sworn in as the new Saudi ambassador to the UK, the Saudi news agency said.

Prince Khaled was the kingdom's ambassador to Germany.

The princess has extensive experience with US politics and diplomacy, having lived in Washington when her father, Prince Bandar, was ambassador.

Prince Bandar is one of the grandchildren of King Abdulaziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia.

Princess Reema obtained a bachelor's degree in museum studies at George Washington University in Washington.

She then founded Alf Khair, a social media enterprise to boost involvement of Saudi women in the professional world.

In 2014, Forbes Middle East magazine chose Princess Reema as one of the most powerful Arab women in the Middle East.

She was appointed president of the Mass Participation Federation in 2017, becoming the first woman to lead a multi-sports federation in Saudi Arabia, driving communities towards a more active lifestyle.

Last month, Princess Reema was appointed head of the Saudi Special Olympics Federation.

Born in 1975 in Riyadh, Princess Reema worked as an adviser in the office of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Women across the kingdom have experienced many changes in recent years.

They can now drive, launch businesses without a guardian’s permission, attend sport matches and enrol in the military.

Updated: April 17, 2019 09:54 AM

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