University of Hartford President Walter Harrison announced this week that Maria A. Feeley will join the University of Hartford as Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of the University on Jan. 15, 2017. Prior to coming to Hartford, Feeley was appointed Chief Legal Officer of Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Fla. At FAMU, she was responsible for overseeing the Office of General Counsel, Risk Management Department, and Office of Equal Opportunity Programs.
"I am proud to be named General Counsel to such a distinguished and forward-thinking institution of higher learning,” said Feeley. “I look forward to serving the University, its board of regents, students , faculty, staff, and alumni and to doing my part to assist President Walter Harrison and future President Gregory Woodward in continuing UHart’s longstanding reputation for innovation and excellence."
Feeley is a native of Philadelphia, Pa. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and history from Rosemont College and her law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law. She currently chairs the Board of Trustees of Rosemont College.
She has also served as Senior Legal Consultant for Freeh Group International Solutions LLC (Freeh Group), a Global Risk Management Company founded by former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh in Wilmington, Del., and as a partner at Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton LLP, where she was chair of the Women’s Initiative, vice chair of the Diversity Committee, and a member of both the Hiring and Contributions Committees.
As a Freeh Group consultant and Pepper Hamilton partner, Feeley was a facilitator and problem solver who provided advice and legal solutions to academic institutions, governmental entities, and foreign and domestic companies on a wide range of novel and complex matters. She has counseled colleges, universities, school districts, and other academic institutions on ethics, compliance, risk management, institutional responses to crisis, Title IX, internal investigations, the Clery Act, organizational and committee restructuring, and a wide range of litigation matters. Her dedication to higher education is further demonstrated by her service as a business law professor at Rosemont College and election to the Law Council of Washington and Lee University School of Law.
“I am delighted that we have been able to attract Maria Feeley as a University officer,” said President Harrison. “Her perspective as a board member, chair, and faculty member will be invaluable. I know Greg Woodward joins me in welcoming her to the leadership team.”
Arosha Jayawickrema, vice president of finance and administration, chaired the search committee for this position. Also serving on the committee were Board of Regents Chair Lucille Nickerson, regents Paul Sittard and Kathy Langley, executive director of Human Resources Development Lisa Belanger, associate professor of political science Bilal Sekou, and Kay Lennon, former associate athletics director for compliance.
Associate General Counsel Roy Collins has served as interim General Counsel, and senior advisor to the president Sue Fitzgerald has served as interim Secretary for the University since February. “I am grateful to both Roy Collins and Sue Fitzgerald,” said Harrison. “They have contributed mightily during the past year in their interim capacities.”