Community Development

Virtual Community Hub

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 the early days, the mindset was to deliver 'to the community' as we jump started a brand new town.  In more recent years, we have seen some great initiatives where Community Life has been working 'with the community' to achieve common goals that improve the quality of life for everyone.  We are keen to continue this evolution so that our KAUST community is truly shaped and improved 'by the community'.

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 the 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 's background is in HR and she has a Masters in Strategic Human Resource Management.  She came to KAUST in 2013 and initially worked in HR where she was involved with strategy, policy and projects.  She moved to Community Life when it was formed in Jan 2017 as Manager, Community Engagement.  Nicki lives at KAUST with her husband, Anthony.  She has two boys who are grown up and live in the UK.  Nicki will be leading on the volunteer program and community projects and programming.

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.  Most of Sam's career has been in Financial Services but she has a passion for health, wellness and coaching.  She is a trained nutrition and lifestyle coach and has a qualification in Youth Coaching.  She has recently completed an MBA in coaching, mentoring and leadership.  Sam leads the WISE program, co-ordinates the KAUST pet care and will be overseeing the youth program.

Manda.jpgSook Choi (Manda Tran), Community Development Specialist
Manda relocated to KAUST from Australia in Sept 2019.  Before coming to KAUST, Manda worked in  Financial Services and Marketing/Business Development and has been an event organizer and community volunteer.  She moved to KAUST with her husband (who works in HSE) and two children (who both attend TKS).  Before coming to Saudi Arabia, the family have lived in Australia, USA, Mozambique and Malaysia— truly global citizens!  Manda works on community projects and oversees Community Clubs.

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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...


Prize Winners.pngMeet the Virtual Community Hub winners!  Over the last few months, the Virtual Community Hub has run a number of competitions, to keep our community busy during the lockdown period.  Visit The Lens to see more and find out who the prize winners are.

VP GO.jpgThe VP Go Destination Challenge is now underway, but it's not too late to join in!  Grab your friends, form a team (of 7) and sign up now!!  VP GO is a platform and app for fun, health and action...  Find out more and register.

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Keep up-to-date with the activities (physical and virtual) on offer during the summer months at KAUST.  Visit Community Life's Summer 2020 Activities Page.

Wellness Services.pngNeed to Talk?  KAUST is offering a range of wellness services including the Employee Wellness Program, access to psychological support, support specifically for children and the Emotional Support Helpline.  Click here for more information.


Want to go fishing?  There is now an updated list of spots where you can fish in the KAUST community.  Visit The Lens for more information and to access the map.


Click here to find out what Recreation activities are now available.

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... and click here for Community Services updates.


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