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Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Maria A. Feeley

Maria A. Feeley* was appointed vice president, general counsel and secretary in January 2017. As an officer of the University and General Counsel, she has a dual reporting relationship to the president of the University and the chair of the Board of Regents, and is responsible for all of the University’s legal matters.

Prior to joining the University of Hartford, Feeley served as the chief officer of the Division of Legal Affairs for Florida A&M University, overseeing the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Risk Management, and the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs and Title IX.

Previously, Feeley was a partner at AmLaw 100 law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP, where she was chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative, vice chair of the Diversity Committee, and a member of the Hiring and Contributions Committees.

While remaining a Pepper partner, Feeley also served as a senior consultant for Freeh Group International Solutions LLC, a global risk management company former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh founded and Pepper acquired.   While a Freeh Group consultant, she served as senior legal advisor on secondment to the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center in New Orleans, LA, in connection with the largest court-supervised settlement program in U.S. history following the BP oil spill.

In April of 2014, the Governor of Pennsylvania appointed Feeley to the State Ethics Commission, an independent state agency charged with enforcing the Ethics Act, and certain provisions of the Lobbying Disclosure Law, and the Race Hose Development and Gaming Act, and Medical Marijuana Act.

Feeley has received numerous awards and appointments. In 2016, Philly Biz honored her as a “Top Business Attorney.” Profiles in Diversity Journal included her among the 2012 honorees in its 10th Annual WomenWorthWatching® issue. The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly named Feeley one of Pennsylvania’s 25 Women of the Year in 2008. In 2008, the Philadelphia Bar Association presented her with the F. Sean Peretta Award. She is also a recipient of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “40 Under 40 award.” American Lawyer Media named her one of Pennsylvania’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track” and she has repeatedly been listed in the Pennsylvania edition of Super Lawyers Magazine as a Rising Star.

She is a regular speaker before industry and professional associations throughout the country, presenting on topics including diversity and inclusion, implicit bias, ethics, compliance, risk management, commercial litigation, trial advocacy, and professional development. She is also a published author, most recently contributing a chapter to Trends in Alternative Dispute Resolution, published by Thompson Reuters/Aspatore in 2012, and a chapter to The Reference Handbook on the Commercial General Liability Policy, published by the American Bar Association in 2010.

Since 2008, she has served as the Philadelphia liaison to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, a commission first chaired by Hillary Rodham Clinton. She is also the technology vice chair of the ABA Tort & Insurance Practice Section Dispute Resolution Committee.

Feeley has served as a Zone 1 Delegate to the Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates and member of the Executive Council of the association’s Commission on Women in the Profession. She was elected to the Board of Governors of the 13,000 member Philadelphia Bar Association, appointed to the Association’s Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, and chaired the Association’s Women in the Profession Committee, Annual Bench Bar and Continuing Legal Education Conference, Women’s Rights Committee, Sandra Day O’Connor Award Committee, Justice Brennan Distinguished Jurist Award Committee, Drafting Committee for the Development of a Call to Action and Best Practices for the Retention and Promotion of Women Lawyers, and the First Women in the Profession Summit.

Feeley served on the Strategic Planning Committee of Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, one of the largest private non-profit providers of social services in Southeastern Pennsylvania, benefiting more than 165,000 individuals annually, and also served as Board Chair of the Stewards’ Alliance of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Feeley served as a court appointed arbitrator for the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, the Treasurer of the Lawyer’s Club of Philadelphia, and a member of the Young Women’s Initiative Advisory Board of Women’s Way, the country’s oldest and largest women’s funding federation. Feeley obtained her JD from Washington and Lee University School of Law, where she is one of 24 elected members of the Law Council. While there, she served as senior articles editor, as well as a case note author, for the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice, f/k/a the Race and Ethnic Ancestry Law Digest. She was also a National Moot Court quarterfinalist, and a John W. Davis Moot Court semifinalist, resulting in appointment to the National Moot Court Team.

Feeley obtained her BA, cum laude, in Mathematics and History from Rosemont College, where she served as an adjunct business law professor and currently chairs the college’s Board of Trustees. 

*Not a licensed Connecticut attorney; application pending. Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland only.