You are here: American University Office of General Counsel

Mission Statement

American University's Office of General Counsel (OGC) is committed to providing excellent legal service to the university community that supports the university's growth and innovation in pursuit of its educational mission, as well as operational support to the Board of Trustees.

We do this by providing timely legal advice and counsel on the status of the law to empower our clients in their decision-making process. In our support of the AU community, we seek to ensure that our advice is responsive to our community's needs, reflects diverse perspectives, and helps ensure a collaborative approach that minimizes legal risk for the university. While identifying opportunities to reduce legal risk and exposure, we strive to deeply engage clients so that we can identify effective options to resolving issues within the broader university context. OGC achieves its commitment to excellence in governance by facilitating the Board's ability to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility and advance the University's mission, traditions, values and reputation.  

Our Representation

The attorneys within OGC are licensed in the following states: District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Each attorney is responsible for providing legal support to specific divisions.

OGC represents American University and may not represent individual students, faculty, or staff except when these individuals are named as defendants in litigation as a result of actions or omissions within the course and scope of their employment or institutional representation. For personal legal advice, employees and students should consult a private attorney.

 

Subject Matter Assignments

Traevena Byrd, Vice President, General Counsel and Board Secretary

Subject matter assignments
Subject Matter Division
 

Governance & Higher Education

Office of the President & Board of Trustees

Bethany J. Bridgham, Senior Associate General Counsel

Subject matter assignments
Subject Matter Division
 

Commercial & Transactional Law

Office of Finance and Treasurer

Employee Benefits (Tax Related)

Human Resources

Environmental Law

Office of Facilities Management

Intellectual Property

Office of Sponsored Research

Taxation

Office of Finance and Treasurer

Trusts & Estates

Office of Advancement

Melanie Barr-Brooks, Associate General Counsel

Subject matter assignments
Subject Matter Division
 

Faculty Employment

Office of Academic Affairs

Immigration

Office of the Provost

International Agreements

Office of Academic Affairs, Office of Student Affairs

Non-Discrimination

Office of the Provost

Student Conduct and Title IX

Office of Student Affairs

Tuition & Financial Aid

Office of Enrollment

Veronica Harsley-Dean, Associate General Counsel

Subject matter assignments
Subject Matter Division
 

Campus Plan

Office of the President

Commercial & Transactional Law

Office of Finance and Treasurer

DC Regulatory Matters

Office of the President

Debt Collection & Bankrupty

Human Resources & Office of Finance and Treasurer

Real Estate & Environmental Law

Office of Finance and Treasurer

Hanieh Hoshiari, Staff Attorney 

Subject Matter Division

Commercial & Transactional Law

Office of Finance and Treasurer

Intellectual Property

Office of Sponsored Research

Trusts & Estates

Office of Advancement

Thi Nguyen-Southern, Senior Associate General Counsel

Subject matter assignments
Subject Matter Division

Athletics

Athletics and Recreation

Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination

Office of Enrollment

Faculty Matters

Office of the Provost

Intellectual Property

Office of University Communication & Marketing

Labor and Employment

Human Resources & Office of Student Affairs

Telecommunications

WAMU

Hilda Soto Romero, Staff Attorney 

Subject Matter Division

Immigration

Human Resouces & Office of the Provost

Labor & Employment

Human Resources & Office of the Provost

Non-Discrimination

Office of Enrollment