Saudi Arabia on Sunday appointed Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud—daughter of the notorious Saudi ambassador to Washington Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud—as its ambassador to the United States. The Kingdom cancelled the appointment of Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, a son of King Salman.
The move represents the Saudis’ wish to project a more benign image, following the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey. At the time, Prince Khalid insisted that Khashoggi had left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul unharmed. He will serve as his country’s deputy defense minister instead.
Princess Reema spent many years in the US, where her father was the ambassador from 1983-2005. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Museum studies from George Washington University, and returned to Riyadh after her graduation.
Over the past decade, she has engaged in multiple initiatives: she co-founded Yibreen, a women’s day gym and spa; was CEO at Al Hama LLC, a luxury retail corporation; was CEO of Alfa International, a leading luxury retail corporation and led the inclusion of women into the retail sector; created Saudi Arabia’s first workplace nursery, enabling more women to work; founded and was creative director of Baraboux, a luxury handbag brand; and founded Alf Khair, a social enterprise aimed at elevating the professional capital of Saudi women.
She is member of The World Bank’s Advisory Council for the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative.
She is also president of the Mass Participation Federation, the first woman to lead a Saudi multi-sports federation.
Since 2016, she has served as the Saudi General Sports Authority’s (GSA) Deputy of Planning and Development, where she has led the development of the Kingdom’s sports economy, and strategic partnerships. She heralded the inclusion of physical education for girls in schools.
She is member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Women in Sports Commission and of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee.
Princess Reema tweeted in response to her appointment: “I will work with God’s permission to serve my country, its leaders and all its children and I will spare no effort to that end.”