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Traevena Byrd Vice President, General Counsel and Board Secretary


Traevena Byrd is Vice President, General Counsel and Board Secretary for American University in Washington, DC. She serves as a member of the President's cabinet and as chief legal advisor to the university's executive officers and Board of Trustees. Traevena supervises the university’s team of attorneys, oversees all corporate governance issues, and manages operations for the board. She has previously worked as Vice President and General Counsel at Towson University in Maryland; as Title IX coordinator, EEO investigator, adjunct faculty member, and associate general counsel at Ithaca College in New York; and as Director of the Commission on the Status of African Americans for the State of Iowa.

Traevena served on the accreditation commission for the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and two terms on the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA). She will begin her third term on the board as NACUA Chair-Elect in June 2023. Traevena also serves as Chair of the Children’s Law Center in Washington, DC, as a member of the University of Iowa Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Sciences, and is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is a frequent presenter on higher education legal issues, most notably on the subject of free speech and student protest, for several higher education associations, including NACUA, the Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA), the American Council on Education (ACE), the Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education (NASPA), the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Traevena is a graduate of the University of Iowa, where she received both her Bachelor of Arts in African American World Studies with honors and her Juris Doctorate.