Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, First Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia and the youngest minister of defense in the world. Prince Mohammad is also chief of the House of Saudi Royal Court and Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs. He was appointed as Crown Prince in June 2017.
Chief of the Court:
In June 2012, Crown Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud died and Prince Mohammad moved up into the number two position in the hierarchy, as his father became the new crown prince and first deputy prime minister. He soon began remaking the court in his own image. On 2 March 2013, the chief of the Crown Prince court Prince Saud Bin Nayef was appointed as governor of the Eastern Province and Prince Mohammad succeeded him in the post. He was also given the rank of minister. On 25 April 2014 Prince Mohammad was appointed state minister.
Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince:
On 23 January 2015, King Abdullah died and Salman took the throne and Prince Mohammad was appointed minister of defense. He was also named as the secretary general of the Royal Court on the same date. In addition, he retained his post as the minister of the state.
The first major event in his tenure as defense minister was Operation Decisive Storm, part of the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, an operation against Houthi rebels in Yemen in 2015. While Prince Mohammad sold the war as a quick win on Houthi rebels in Yemen and a way to put Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back in power, however, it became a long war of attrition.
Muhammad bin Nayef and Prince Mohammad respectively became Crown Prince and Deputy Crown Prince. In late 2015, Prince Mohammad bin Salman attended a meeting between King Salman and U.S. President Barack Obama. Prince bin Salman announced an anti-terrorist military alliance of Islamic countries in December 2015. On 4 January 2016, Prince Mohammad gave his first on-the-record interview, while talking to The Economist.
As defense minister, Prince Mohammad has been heavily involved in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen. Although all agreed that the kingdom had to respond when the Houthis seized the Yemeni capital and forced the government into exile, Prince Bin Salman took the lead, launching the war in March 2015.
Mohammad bin Salman was appointed Crown Prince on 21 June 2017, following his father's decision to depose Muhammad Bin Nayef, making him heir apparent to the throne.
Mohammad Bin Salman established himself as the Chairman of the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Foundation, which aims to help disadvantaged youth. The foundation was a partner of the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum for Change in 2015. The foundation focuses on the country's youth and provides different means of fostering talent, creative potential, and innovation in a healthy environment that offers opportunities in arts and sciences. The foundation pursues these goals by establishing programs and partnering with local and global organizations. It intends to develop intellectual capability in youth, as well as unlock the potential of all Saudi people.