HRH Ambassador Reema: From Saudi Arabia’s Perspective
Date(s) - 05/11/2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
International Relations Council
About this event
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About the Program
The world is changing, and so is Saudi Arabia. Appointed Saudi Ambassador to the United States in 2019, Her Royal Highness Ambassador Reema Bandar Al-Saud has voiced strong support for gender equality and women in sports as the Kingdom’s first female ambassador to any country. On Tuesday, May 11, members of the International Relations Council are invited to welcome HRH Ambassador Reema for an off-the-record, members-only conversation to learn more about Saudi Arabia, Saudi-U.S. relations, and understand where Saudi Arabia goes from here. We’ll get to know Princess Reema, as well, and understand what inspires her life of public service.
About the Speaker
Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was appointed Ambassador to the United States on February 23, 2019 by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. She is the first woman in the country’s history to serve in the role of Ambassador. She presented her credentials to President Donald Trump on July 8, 2019.
From 1983 to 2005, Princess Reema lived in Washington, DC, while her father Prince Bandar served as Saudi Ambassador to the United States. She attended George Washington University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Museum Studies.
Princess Reema returned to Saudi Arabia, where she focused on private sector initiatives and the empowerment of women in the Kingdom. In 2000, She co-founded Yibreen, a women’s gym. From 2007 until 2015, Princess Reema was the Chief Executive Officer of Alfa International Company Limited – Harvey Nichols Riyadh, a multi-brand luxury retail company, where she collaborated with leading female recruitment agency, Glowork, and commissioned a study on Obstacles for Women in the Workplace, which set the tone for female inclusion in retail, and resulted in opening the first workplace nursery in a retail store, enabling more women to work while caring for children. In 2013, she founded Alf Khair, a social enterprise aimed at elevating the professional capital of Saudi women through a curriculum developed to enable financial self-sufficiency.
In 2016, Princess Reema left the private sector to begin a career of public service as Vice President of Women’s Affairs at the Saudi General Sports Authority where she developed policies and programs that benefited women and children throughout Saudi Arabia. After a successful year, she was promoted to Deputy of Development and Planning in January 2018. In October 2018, she was also appointed President of the Mass Participation Federation, making her the first woman to lead a multi-sports federation in the Kingdom, a role that she occupied until her appointment as Saudi Ambassador to the United States.
Princess Reema is excited to take her leadership role to the world stage as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States.
As part of her philanthropic work, Princess Reema became a founding member of the Zahra Breast Cancer Awareness Association in 2007, which set a Guinness World Record by forming the World’s Largest Human Awareness Ribbon at the Princess Noura University in Riyadh in 2015.
Princess Reema has served as a member of the World Bank’s advisory council for the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative since 2017. She has been a member of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee since 2017, and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Women in Sports Commission since 2018.
In 2014, Fast Company recognized Princess Reema as the Most Creative Person of the year for “Inviting Women into the Workforce.” Foreign Policy Magazine recognized her as a Leading Global Thinker for the same year, placing her high up in the “Moguls” category.
She was featured on the Forbes lists of the 200 Most Powerful Arab Women and Most Powerful Arab Women in Saudi Arabia lists for 2014.
About the Moderator
Dr. Gary Armstrong is professor of political science and associate dean for the core curriculum at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. He graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and with a Ph.D. from Georgetown University. His special interests include American foreign and security policies, international relations theory, international conflict and war ethics, and international political economy.
He has served as research assistant to Francis Fukuyama – a political scientist, political economist and author – and teaching assistant to former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. He joined the William Jewell College faculty in 1992. Since then, the William Jewell student body has voted him “Professor of the Year” four times.