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Job description / Role

Employment: Full Time

Associate General Counsel

Established in 2009, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is an international, graduate research University dedicated to advancing scientific and technological education and research. The University acts as a catalyst for innovation, economic development, and social prosperity in the region and in the world. Research at KAUST strives to enhance the welfare of society through focusing on four areas of global significance: food, water, energy, and the environment. Based near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and located on the shores of the Red Sea, KAUST attracts high caliber faculty and staff from all over the world, with more than 100 nations currently represented on campus.

The University brings people together who want to create impact beyond their own achievements within a growing institution. Irrespective of their national origins, the people of KAUST are people of the world who uphold the University’s values of achievement, passion, inspiration, citizenship, diversity, integrity, and openness. KAUST has exceptional standards for community residences and recreational facilities and boasts a truly multicultural community environment that can be enjoyed by all, along with ample opportunities to balance work and life.

Position Summary:
The position reports to the General Counsel and supports the General Counsel across all functional areas of the University. Leads and manages assignments independently and coordinates with teams of key stakeholders, including senior leadership. Provides guidance and legal advice to all academic and administrative areas of the University, including research, economic development, and education portfolios of the University. Also, provides advice related to the University’s formation and capitalization of new companies, collaborative research, intellectual property, real estate development, construction, employment, student matters, community affairs, IT matters, compliance with relevant national and international laws, and the University’s policies and procedures. Serves as a strategic partner in the development and implementation of University policies, procedures and initiatives and in matters involving litigation and dispute resolution. Promotes legal and ethical compliance with University policies and relevant laws and regulations.

Major Responsibilities:
• Provides legal advice and general counsel on a wide range of matters to KAUST management and departments including the Office of Sponsored Research, Academic Affairs, Innovation and Economic Development, the Office of the President, University Development, Human Resources, Finance, Facilities Management, Health, Safety & Environment, Information Technology, and Community Life.
• Supports the General Counsel by advising on the University’s policies, programs, practices, and activities that are affected by legal considerations.
• Drafts, reviews and negotiates strategic transactions and contracts, such as those related to technology commercialization, research collaborations, facilities operations and maintenance, information technology, and strategic partnerships.
• Works with other University departments to promote compliance with University policies and procedures and the alignment of department actions with the University’s research, academic and economic development missions.
• Provides training on and information about legal developments of interest, in particular, to University leadership and departments.
• Conducts legal research and related due diligence on a variety of complex legal and business matters.
• Provides advice and assistance to those responsible for administering the University’s strategic risk assessments, research compliance, University pension and savings plans, and insurance programs to ensure proper administrative oversight and to identify and manage areas of special interest that pose a high risk to the University.
• Works with University stakeholders to find effective, reasonable and practical solutions to challenging legal and business problems.
• Provides guidance to members of the University’s senior leadership team, department administrators and management with regard to risk-based decision-making to facilitate their understanding of the legal and business causes and effects of their actions and to ensure adherence to governance, policy, risk, and legal compliance requirements, with appropriate attention to any legal and other risks to the University.
• Serves on University committees and participates in other University activities as requested.
• Supports the General Counsel and other personnel in performing all the activities of the Office of the General Counsel, as assigned.

• Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate complex legal and business issues in terms that are understandable to non-lawyers.
• Ability to manage multiple assignments and to complete them effectively and promptly with little or no supervision.
• Demonstrated ability to make independent decisions and exercise good judgment.
• Strong listening, interpersonal and leadership skills with an ability to engage effectively with University colleagues and third parties.
• Ability to identify, analyze and resolve complex legal and business issues effectively.
• Superior attention to detail.
• Superior integrity and work ethic.
• Ability to instill confidence in his or her capability to achieve results and maintain confidentiality.
• Mature understanding of how to interact with a diverse, multi-cultural group of stakeholders and University partners to develop and maintain long-term positive relationships.
• Knowledge of Shari’a law and Middle East culture is desirable, but not essential.

KAUST Leadership Competencies:
• Communicates and inspires a shared vision both within and outside the team.
• Maximizes the impact of the team activities to contribute to KAUST's vision, mission & strategic objectives.
• Fosters trust and collaboration among team and all stakeholders.
• Empowers people to learn and develop.
• Embraces diversity of all levels.
• Drives agility and innovation in activities to support an innovative and changing environment.
• Demonstrates connected thinking across the University, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the wider global context.


• A law degree from an accredited law school with strong academic credentials.
• Minimum of 10 years of experience practicing in a broad range of legal areas within a complex organizational structure, preferably in a higher education or a research-based environment.
• Licensed to practice law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United States, the United Kingdom, or an equivalent jurisdiction.

About the Company

Established in 2009, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a graduate-level research university located on the shores of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia. KAUST is dedicated to advancing science and technology through interdisciplinary research, education and innovation. Curiosity-driven and goal-oriented research is conducted by students, faculty, scientists and engineers to address the world’s pressing scientific and technological challenges related to food, water, energy and the environment.

The University currently educates and trains over 900 master’s and doctoral students supported by an academic community of 150 faculty members, 400 postdocs and 300 research scientists. With 100 nationalities working and living at KAUST, the University brings together people and ideas from all over the world.

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