Legal and Compliance

Legal Affairs at NYU Abu Dhabi provides legal services to NYU Abu Dhabi responding to its University clients, providing timely and expert legal advice and guidance to the University, in support of NYU Abu Dhabi's educational goals and objectives. 

Compliance and Risk Management provides a range of compliance and risk management services to the University community and promotes a culture of compliance, integrity, and ethics at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Leader Profile

Kären Frasier Alston
Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Counsel for Legal and Compliance

Kären Frasier Alston joined NYU Abu Dhabi as Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Counsel for Legal and Compliance. In this role, Kären oversees NYUAD legal, compliance, and policy matters, including labor and employment; facilities design, engineering and construction; operations and maintenance; IT security; and data privacy and data protection. Kären also serves on committees and working groups, including information governance, business continuity and resilience, data protection, and whistleblowing policy development; as well as the University’s conflict of interest, risk management, medical referral, IT security, and academic and research governance committees.

Kären came to NYUAD from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, where she was Associate General Counsel. Kären joined KAUST in 2010 and served as Business Operations Manager for Global Collaborative Research and as Department Manager for the Office of Competitive Research Funds. She moved to the Office of the General Counsel in 2014, and served as Senior Counsel and Special Counsel before her appointment to her current position in 2018. Kären also served as the Director of KAUST’s Legal Studies Program. Prior to joining KAUST, Kären served as Assistant Grants Compliance Officer in the Office of Policy and Extramural Research Administration at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where she focused on revising the US Public Health Services' financial conflicts of interest legislation.

Kären has been practicing law since 1994. She clerked for the Honorable Robert F. Orr on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court. She was in private practice before joining North Carolina Central University School of Law, in Durham, North Carolina. At the School of Law, Kären served as the Director of Recruitment and Enrollment, and as Associate Dean for Finance and Administration, with oversight of finance and budgeting, grants management, human resources, admissions, student services, IT, and facilities management. She also taught law practice management and appellate advocacy as an Adjunct Assistant Professor for the School of Law.

Kären also served as Grants Compliance Officer for the U.S. Department of Education Title III Programs at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. Prior to law school, Kären worked in various roles in Human Resources in local government and the private sector. Kären earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hampton University, and a Juris Doctor degree from North Carolina Central University’s School of Law.

Key People