Alumna named first female Saudi ambassador to the United States

An alumna was appointed as the first female ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States late Saturday.

Princess Reema bint Bandar, who graduated from the University in 1999 with a degree in museum studies, attended GW while her father, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, served as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States. Reema replaces Prince Khalid bin Salman, a son of the Saudi king who will now serve as the country’s deputy defense minister, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

She lived in the United States for more than 20 years, The Post reported.

After graduating, Reema spent a few years at the Arab World Institute in Paris and the Field Museum in Chicago, assisting in the supervision of her mother’s art collection. She returned to Saudi Arabia in 2008 and led several businesses, including Alfa International, a luxury retail corporation, according to a 2014 profile of the princess in the business magazine Fast Company.

Prior to her appointment as ambassador to the United States, Reema served as a planning and development undersecretary at General Sport Authority. She has also been known for her advocacy efforts to include women in sports and promote breast cancer awareness, according to her official biography.

Reema’s appointment follows controversy over Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s handling of the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey last December.

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