In 2006 The Washington Advisory Group (WAG) was engaged as the lead academic and research advisory team for the design and launch of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a new $20 billion investment by Saudi Arabia in an internationally oriented research university. The project was led out of Saudi Aramco and engaged a half dozen directors of WAG, several of them almost full time, for over five years.
After an initial organizational and academic design phase, WAG principals, coordinated by Dr. Bruce Guile, took leading roles in the development of the mission and charter, the development and management of the international advisory board, the search and recruitment of academic and research leadership and academic program development. Dr. Frank Rhodes was engaged in the project as a member of WAG and, ultimately, served on the board of KAUST. Dr. Frank Press, similarly a long-standing member of WAG, was deeply involved in development of strategies for faculty recruitment.
Dr. Guile served as the founding director of the Global Research Program (GRP) and in that capacity led the design, start-up, and first-stage management of an extensive global network of research partners working on problems of particular importance to Saudi Arabia. This involved establishing research management operations in Washington and London -- they ultimately moved to KAUST when it opened in 2009 -- and running a global research competition to allocate $300 million to universities around the world.
In 2010 Dr. Guile's involvement shifted to design and soft-launch of applied research capacity at KAUST, taking advantage of the new academic research enterprise and stellar facilities at KAUST.