Who is Rania Nashar, Saudi Arabia's first female CEO, makes Forbes 100 most powerful women list

Rania Nashar

Saudi Arabia's Rania Nashar, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Samba Financial Group, for a second time has been listed in Forbes 100 most powerful women in the world.

Rania Nashar, who is also dubbed as the first Saudi woman, to have been appointed as a CEO of a company was ranked 97th in the list that also included 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

The Saudi national, Rania Nashar began her career in the banking sector in 1997 when she joined Samba Financial Group. Since then she has gone to become the first woman in the GCC financial sector to lead a compliance group.

Rania Nashar

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Rania was appointed CEO in 2017, which was a first in itself for the country as well. The appointment made her not only Samba's first female CEO but also the first female CEO of a listed Saudi Arabian bank.

"When the Chairman of the Board called me, I was speechless...He said, We've been discussing who should be the next CEO of Samba. It happens to be that the best option for CEO is a female, and it's you,' Rania told CEO Magazine in an interview.

Rania also been selected as a symbol for Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 program that envisions to create an economy, which will ensure equal opportunities to both men and women.

As the first female CEO of a bank in Saudi Arabia, Rania often finds herself working really hard.

"I have to not only prove to myself that a bank of Samba's size can be run by a female CEO – and can achieve the best results in its history – I have to prove it for all the women in Saudi Arabia and in the world. I hope that I can be an honorable portrait for Saudi women," CEO Magazine had reported quoting her.

The 2019 Forbes Most Powerful Women list also included the United Arab Emirates' Raja Easa Al-Gurg ranked at 84. The Emirati, who is a Board Member of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was also featured in the list in 2017.

The top 10 in the list included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde, who was newly appointed the president of the European Central Bank.