The KAUST President’s Task Force: Maturing a Young Community

By | April 21, 2014

Recently, KAUST President Jean-Lou Chameau invited community members to join a task force to help make recommendations towards improving our community. Specifically:

The President’s Task Force is your opportunity to be part of shaping future community, arts and cultural programs, events and activities at KAUST. My hope is that we can build upon our success by asking, what is missing and how can we improve?

The task force will have two simple goals:

  • To gain broad community input about community, arts and cultural events and activities to enhance the social and life experience at KAUST; and
  • To recommend ways we can improve our coordination and communication to support existing and future activities and events.

If you know anything about me, you know I was eager to jump in and get my hands dirty. So I applied and recently was asked not only to be a member of the Task Force, but to Vice-Chair it as well!

I am beyond honored.

Since my arrival in 2011, I have been active in the community, trying to ensure KAUST is as inviting and livable as possible. I see the President’s Task Force as having the same goal, and I hope that my participation will have a positive impact for the group and its goals.


What will it accomplish?

We already have a great community here at KAUST which gives us a strong foundation to start from. We’re aiming to bring some brilliant minds  together to make things even better.

I think that The President’s Task Force has the potential to put great grassroots ideas into action. If living at KAUST has taught me one thing it is that anything is possible. I am excited for this opportunity to collaborate with our most passionate community members to create a better place for all of us to live and work. And I can’t wait to see what we come up with.


Maturing a young community

The “KAUST founders” moved here five years ago. Before that, KAUST was a construction site. Before that, it was sand.

In just five years, we’ve gone from faculty and staff going to work in construction helmets without any amenities at all to an established and fully functioning town. We now have pools, restaurants, sports teams, dive trips, concerts, meetups for kids, and even an annual community talent show. We’re a small town but we’re resourceful and we’re growing up fast.

I like to think that in those five years, we have moved along a continuum from a new community towards an established community. It’s no longer the case that you have to get out of KAUST to experience some culture and have a bit of fun. There is a lot to offer here – and a lot more to come.

An offer to all KAUST community members

Do you have big ideas for our small community? Share them in the comments below and I’ll do what I can to get your ideas heard.