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Meet Khalid bin Salman, the Pilot-Turned-Ambassador

In April 2017, Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman was appointed as Saudi Ambassador to the United States. The former pilot is actually Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s young brother. This appointment coincides with a period of considerable change in the Kingdom.


Prince Khalid received a Bachelor of Aero Science from King Faisal Air Academy. After a certificate for Senior Executives in National and International Security at Harvard University, he studied advanced electronic warfare in Paris. He started his career at the Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi in 2009, as an air force F-15 pilot.

He began graduate work at Georgetown University pursuing a Master of Arts in Security Studies but his studies were suspended upon different job assignment and before his appointment as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States.

Royal Bloodline

The appointment makes the Prince is the tenth Saudi Ambassador to the United States, since 1945. Prince Khalid’s lineage belongs to the House of Saud, the royal family which has ruled the Kingdom since 1932.

In June 2016, Prince Khalid joined his older brother Mohammad bin Salman (commonly known as MbS) as part of his official delegation’s visit to Washington to build relations.

Cabinet Reshuffle

2017 has been a big year in terms of who’s who in Saudi Arabia. On top of his son’s appointment of as US ambassador, on April 22 King Salman issued a series of royal decrees, featuring new domestic policies as well as a cabinet rearrangement. Notably, new Ministers of State for Civil Service, of Information and Culture, and the President of the Authority for Sport were named.

In June 2017, Mohammad bin Salman was announced as next in line to the throne, going from Deputy Crown Prince to Crown Prince.