Saudi Arabia has named Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as the 11th Saudi Ambassador to the United States, making her the first woman ever to serve in the role.
Princess Reema will take over the role from Prince Khalid bin Salman, who has been appointed as the country’s deputy defense minister.
The appointment, which was rumored to be in the works for months, was met with praise on social media.
Princess Reema is an accomplished advocate for women empowerment in Saudi Arabia and has championed initiatives that increased acceptance and participation of women and girls in sports.
Princess Reema is a Washingtonian, having spent time in the area growing up as a child of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi Ambassador to the United States who served in that position from 1983 to 2005 and was Dean of the Diplomatic Corps. She also lived in the D.C.-area to attend George Washington University located in the Foggy Bottom area of the District.
Princess Reema has two teenaged children.
“[The Princess] has a big task ahead of her as KSA attempts to repair its image in Washington after Khashoggi’s killing,” Wall Street Journalist Ahmed Al-Omran wrote on Twitter. “While Trump has defended US-Saudi relations, many in Washington are now skeptical. Her main challenge will be to win over members of Congress and the American media. This won’t be easy, but the princess is seen as someone who is eloquent and competent. Her background is in business, but she joined the government in 2016 with a focus on developing women participation in sports.”