Basma Alshaalan

Diplomat at Saudi Arabia’s UN mission

A culturally diverse environment is the best environment in which to develop skills, and that is what I have gained working at the World Bank and the United Nations.

I am now working at the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the UN in New York, representing the Kingdom on the Third Committee of the General Assembly, which deals with social, humanitarian and human rights issues.

Basma Alshaalan Faces of Saudi by Arab News
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I was raised in a household in which knowledge, education and support were of vital importance. My father, Hakeem Alshaalan, is a retired chemical engineer. He helped pave the way for me with his wisdom and unconditional love. My mother, Latifah Alsudairy, taught me how to be resilient through her adaptive attitude toward life. 

Growing up in Saudi Arabia and, later, in London, New York and Washington — helped build my capacity to engage with different cultures and people from a variety of backgrounds. These versatile and vibrant cities have added special meaning to my life and memories.

I completed my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations and national security in the UK and, earned a spot at New York University, where I graduated with a joint master’s in international relations and business. The courses equipped me with the broad knowledge and analytical skills that help me in my career.

As a result of my interest in community development, the research I conducted focused on examining governance models and best practices adopted by governments, non-governmental organizations, international governmental organizations, multinational corporations and small-to-medium enterprises.

After graduating, I joined the World Bank in Washington as a media and communications editor, which expanded my knowledge of the operational mechanism of the World Bank’s development initiatives.

Saudi Arabia is investing in cultivating innovation through the creation of a culture that rewards determination and helps everyone gain the skills they need to achieve their objectives.

I like to spend a lot of time outdoors, and enjoy endurance activities such as hiking and running. I find the intense process of building endurance is very similar to life.

I am extremely proud of the ongoing economic transformation in the Kingdom and passionately believe the greatest future awaits us.

On a personal level, I aspire to play an active part in the process of achieving our national and international objectives, and in my professional career I have been able to link Vision 2030 with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 agenda.

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