Ahlam Bint Abdulrahman Yanksar has a master's degree from the University of London. Image Credit: Saudi Foreign Ministry

Cairo: The Saudi Foreign Ministry has appointed Ahlam Bint Abdulrahman Yanksar as director-general of the ministry’s department of cultural affairs, becoming the first woman to hold such a senior post in Saudi Arabia.

In recent years, the kingdom has endeavoured to boost women’s empowerment.


Ahlam holds a master’s degree in international business administration from the University of London, the ministry said on its official Twitter account.

She previously worked as a member of the team of the office of the ministry’s undersecretary for political and economic affairs and deputy head of the economic and cultural section at the Saudi embassy in London.

She was also in charge of the economic and cultural file at the Foreign Ministry’s North America department.

In February 2019, Princess Reema Bint Bandar was appointed as the first female Saudi ambassador to the US.

In 2018, the kingdom allowed women to drive for the first time in its history, as part of wide social and economic reforms championed by young Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

Saudi authorities have also allowed women to travel without a male guard’s approval and to apply for a passport, easing long-time controls on them.