Saudi Arabia has appointed Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as the new ambassador in the United States yesterday, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). This is the first time that this function has been completed by a woman.
Princess Reema succeeds Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The former fighter pilot and brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held the job for less than two years. He was heavily criticized because he denied that Jamal Khashoggi, columnist of Washington Post and critic of the crown prince, was killed in the consulate of the kingdom in Istanbul. Prince Khalid returns to Saudi Arabia to become Deputy Minister of Defense.
The appointment of Reema follows a series of attempts by Saudi Arabia to restore relations with the Western allies, who suffered serious damage as a result of the killing of Khashoggi. Princess Reema is the daughter of Prince Bandar, a former ambassador in the US. She studied at George Washington University, and Forbes Middle East ranked her 16th on the list of the 200 most powerful Arab women.
She worked as an advisor to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and to the government body responsible for sport. She is also chairman of the Federation for community sports. Together with the Ministry of Education, she ensured that girls get sport at school and that women participate in sports competitions, according to SPA.