H.R.H Princess Reema bindt Bandar Al-Saud

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the U.S.

"Leaders don’t need to wait for ambassadors to be conduits, they are connecting directly now. Technology has changed that...If people-to-people engagements are lost because of COVID, I think we are all going to go into a very dark phase over the next couple of years.

A critical part of my personal mandate has been to spend as much time out of Washington, DC as I do here--meeting governors and business communities understand the dynamics of each of those states. If the diplomats stay only in the capital, they are losing out on so many opportunities for their country to engage in a healthy way with their host country.

My biggest fear is the digital divide. I do not think it is going to be first world versus second in the developing world anymore. I think it is going to be the digitally connected and the unconnected worlds and that is going to be one of the new definitions of poverty. If you are tech poor and disconnected, that is what is going to hold your nation back today, as much as hunger, a weak financial system, or a lack of transparency and strong institutions. We need to focus on making sure we have a minimum definition of connectivity that will allow for the digital divide to be minimized."

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