Community Development

Community Development

Developing and Improving our Community - Getting Involved...

The KAUST Community - 10+ years

As we move into our second decade as the KAUST community, we are keen to continue our evolution towards a community that is truly 'doing it for themselves'.  In recent years, we have seen some great collaborations where Community Life has worked with the community to achieve shared goals that improve the quality of life for everyone.

Our continuing journey as a community depends on every single KAUST resident – this community belongs to all of us and we all have a responsibility to make it what we want it to be.  For this reason, we have created a Community Development team, whose sole purpose is to support the community in delivering projects and initiatives that will make this great community even better for all of us.

The Community Development team cannot do it alone.  How much we are able to achieve, how many improvement projects we can deliver, how many groups and clubs we can mobilize, how much knowledge we can share with each other, and how much our community is able to shape its future is directly related to how many members of our community get involved, get engaged and get mobilized.

I am excited about the next phase of our community evolution and look forward to working with everyone as we put the focus on People, Place and Pride.

Chris Sealey
Vice President, Community Life

Meet the Team

Nicki Image 14.jpg Nicki Talbot, Manager, Community Development
Nicki moved to KAUST in 2013 from Dubai and transferred into Community Life when it was formed in Jan 2017 as Manager, Community Engagement.  Nicki lives at KAUST with her husband, Anthony.  Nicki has a Masters in Strategic HR and two grown up sons who live in the UK.

Samantha Tully.jpgSamantha Tully, Community Development Specialist  Sam relocated from Dublin, Ireland and has lived at KAUST for two years with her husband, two children and Loki the dog.  Sam has a passion for health, wellness and coaching, is a trained nutrition and lifestyle coach and has a qualification in Youth Coaching.

Manda.jpgSook Choi (Manda Tran), Community Development Specialist  Manda relocated to KAUST from Australia in Sept 2019 has previously been an event organizer and community volunteer.  She lives at KAUST with her husband and two children.  The family has previously lived in Australia, USA, Mozambique and Malaysia— truly global citizens!  Manda speaks English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Malay.

Mark Dudley.jpgMark Dudley, Community Development Specialist  Mark moved to KAUST in August 2019 with his wife and two young daughters.  Mark has spent most of his life in East Africa and was living in Uganda before coming to KAUST, where he undertook a number of projects in the community.  Mark speaks English and some French and Swahili.

Hannah O'Callaghan.jpgHannah O'Callaghan, Community Development Specialist  Hannah has lived at KAUST with her husband and three children since 2016.  Hannah has a Masters in Public Health/Health Promotion and before coming to KAUST, she worked as a Community Worker in Northern Ireland delivering healthy lifestyle programs.  She is also an English Language teacher at KAUST.  Hannah speaks English and Cantonese.

Sami Villalba.jpgSamagi (Sami) Villalba, Community Development Specialist  Sami has lived at KAUST since 2016 - she arrived at KAUST with her husband and one child and her son was born at KAUST.  Originally from Venezuela, Sami has a Masters in Strategic Marketing and, since coming to KAUST, has worked in the Museum and volunteered to support during Ramadan and the Commencement ceremony.  Sami speaks Spanish and English.

Dan Norseth.pngDan Norseth, English Language Program Lead  Dan is originally from Oregon in the US.  He has taught English in the US, in Thailand, for Saudi Aramco and now at KAUST.  He lives here at KAUST with his wife (who is a teacher in TKS) and one of his three sons, who is in Grade 10.  His other two sons are in Canada and Switzerland.

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KAUST Neighborhood Reps or new community member 'buddies' want to represent your neighborhood and share information with your neighbors, or want to be a friend to a new family in the KAUST community?  Become a Neighborhood Representative and/or community buddy!

Community Volunteers - whether you want to offer a couple of hours per week to help out at the Thrift Shop or would like to enhance your skills, knowledge and CV by undertaking an Internship, we will be launching the KAUST Volunteer Program in 2020.

Focus Groups/Working Groups - developing our parks, playgrounds and outdoor spaces, understanding our KAUST culture, developing our Community Library as a central element of our neighborhood and creating more cultural programming in the Community Theater and Community Art Gallery—we want your skills, knowledge and input to make these ideas a reality.

Community Life @ KAUST regular community get-togethers to hear your views and discuss topics that matter to all of us...


Cricket Tournament - 5-20 Feb (weekends)
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The Cricket Community Club is running a tournament through February.  For more information and to join in, visit the Clubs page on the CL website.

IRC.pngKAUST Community Garden
The community garden is located at the rear of the Oasis apartments and is open to all community members.  If you would like to rent a plot to grow your own vegetables and other crops, please contact
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Annual Pet Registrations are now due.  If you have a pet or pets, they must be registered in line with the Guidlines for Keeping Pets in the KAUST Community.  To read more information about how to register your pet(s) and to read the Guidelines, click here


Teenagers.jfifTeen Space and Youth Programming - we are due to launch our new Teen Space at any time and will then work with our teens to develop programming in the space and also offer other youth programming via our team of Youth Workers.  Want to get involved and work with the youth in our community? e-mail

Community Hub.pngDevelopment of our community spaces - we currently have a Community Garden, Community Kitchen and a Community Clubhouse that is available to our community members.  All of these spaces need groups of volunteers to oversee the bookings, develop programming and ensure the spaces are operated efficiently and practically.  We are also keen to develop other community spaces - a Community Theater and Community Gallery are two ideas on the list.  For every space, we need a small group of dedicated volunteers to ensure they are able to continue operating.  If you are interested in getting involved in any/all of our community spaces, please e-mail

Dog Park.jfifDevelopment of an attractive dog park - whilst we do have a 'functional' dog park, it is not a great place for dogs or their owners to spend time.  We are keen to identify an area and then work together as a community to develop the space into an attractive area where even non-dog owners would want to spend time!  Want to get involved in this project? e-mail

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Redevelopment of the Harbor Library as a central part of the KAUST community- the Harbor Library is a great space and in a great location.  We want to review its current use/operation and redevelop it so that it becomes a true 'hub' of our community.  We will need community members to get involved in the redevelopment project, but will also need volunteers to help deliver programming from the newly-developed space!  e-mail

These are just a few of the many projects and programs that we currently deliver (or would like to deliver) with our KAUST community.  If you have ideas, expertise, energy, enthusiasm... and time on your hands, and would like to get involved in developing and improving your community, e-mail us at

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