Princess Reema bint Bandar Officially Becomes Saudi Arabia’s First Female Ambassador to Washington
Princess Reema bint Bandar was sworn in as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, becoming the Sunni Muslim nation’s first-ever female envoy to Washington. The princess previously lived in the US capital when her father, Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, was ambassador from 1983-2005. Originally nominated in February, bint Bandar replaced the younger brother of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Prince Khalid bin Salman, who was named the country’s deputy defense minister. Reema bint Bandar’s appointment has been construed as a response to ongoing international scrutiny over Riyadh’s alleged role in the October murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well as the kingdom’s imprisonment and reported torture of women’s rights activists. After making waves last year by removing a ban on female drivers, Saudi Arabia’s young crown prince has come under repeated fire, including over a controversial mobile app that allows Saudi men to monitor the whereabouts of their wives and unmarried daughters.