H.R.H. Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud
H.R.H. Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud is the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States of America
HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud has established a profile advocating opportunities of every kind for communities in a career spanning both private and public sector. In 2019 she became the Saudi Ambassador to the USA, and previously served as the Saudi General Sports Authority’s Deputy of Planning and Development. As the President of the Mass Participation Federation, she is the first woman to lead a multi-sports federation in the Kingdom. The International Olympic Committee made her a member of the IOC Women and Sports Commission, complimenting her service as a member of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee. In 2015 she founded Alf Khair, an award-winning social enterprise aimed at elevating the professional capital of Saudi women. As CEO of Harvey Nichols Riyadh, Princess Reema led the inclusion of women into the retail sector. Her entrepreneurial background, experience in workforce integration, and diversity and inclusion championship, are a foundation for her membership in The World Bank’s Advisory Council for the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. Recognitions include WEF Young Global Leader, Forbes Most Powerful Arab Women in KSA and in Family Business lists, Foreign Policy Magazine Leading Global Thinker and Fast Company’s Most Creative Person.
What has brought you to Davos 2019?
A commitment for the Sustainable Development Goals and the impact of citizen engagement to change the world.
Defining leadership moment at Davos:
Women are the driving force of change globally and it was gratifying to see that reflected this year within the Davos Community, whether it was inside or outside the Congress Centre. I was inspired by a talk given by Silvana Kock-Mehrin, President and Founder of Women Political Leaders (WPL), about The Reykjavik Index for Leadership - a gender parity index that WPL launched with Kantar - that measures female representation in leadership, and is a litmus test of how people feel about women in power.
Personal motivation to advocate for women and girls:
A community-led policy approach to socio-economic development can be traced back to 2000 when I co-founded a women’s fitness centre in Riyadh where we promoted breast-cancer awareness. As CEO of Harvey Nichols Riyadh I 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 workforce nursery in a retail store. First-hand knowledge of the importance of soft-skills for workplace readiness led to the founding of Alf Khair, a social enterprise aimed at elevating the professional capital of Saudi women, through a curriculum developed to enable financial self-sufficiency. Recognizing health and well-being as drivers of self-sufficiency, I included it as a theme of Alf Khair’s keystone CSR initiative, 10KSA, which in 2015 brought holistic health into the national dialogue, with Ministry of Health as partners. Achievements under my mandate at the General Sports Authority and Mass Participation Federation included working alongside the Ministry of Education on the institution of physical education for girls in schools, access to nationally-owned sporting facilities, as well as economic and social integration of women in the sporting sector, women’s participation in international sporting competitions, women’s placement on 22 national federation boards, and a gender integrated team to the Special Olympics.
Where can people learn more about you and your key projects?
Via Saudi Embassy for Washington DC website.
Saudi Arabia’s greatest natural resource is its people.