Hanover, MD (February 21, 2018) — Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), the world’s leading legal search firm, today announced the placement of Traevena Byrd as vice president and general counsel at American University (AU) in Washington, D.C., effective April 9, 2018. The search was led by Deborah Ben-Canaan and Michael Sachs of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s In-House Practice Group.
Traevena comes to AU from Towson University where she is the vice president for legal affairs & human resources and general counsel. At AU, she will serve as a member of the president’s cabinet and chief legal advisor to the university’s executive officers and board. In the role of general counsel she will provide, manage, and coordinate all legal services for the university.
"I am thrilled that Traevena is joining AU as our next general counsel," American University President Sylvia M. Burwell said. "With her deep experience advising universities, her impressive record of working with students, faculty, and staff, and her nationally recognized expertise on many of the most important issues facing higher education today, Traevena will be an excellent leader of our legal department and an important member of the AU leadership team."
Traevena’s career in higher education began at the University of Iowa, where she served as an assistant director of admissions, and was followed by her appointment as the director of the Commission on the Status of African-Americans for the State of Iowa Department of Human Rights. She previously worked as associate general counsel at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, where she regularly taught a civil rights seminar as an adjunct faculty member. As Towson’s chief legal officer, she currently manages the university’s legal affairs, serves as legal advisor to the president and university executive officers, and acts as the liaison to the Maryland Office of the Attorney General.
“I am delighted to join the AU community and I look forward to contributing to its mission of public service and global leadership,” Byrd said. “President Burwell's leadership inspires me, and I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of the exciting and meaningful change that will positively shape AU for years to come.”
Traevena received both her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Iowa. She is a past member of the board of directors for the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and currently serves on the accreditation commission for the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). She is a frequent presenter on the subject of free expression on campuses, and currently serves as a member of the steering committee for the American Council on Education’s Campus Inclusion and Free Expression Project and as the chair of NACUA’s 2018 conference on Free Speech and Campus Unrest.
About Major, Lindsey & Africa
Founded in 1982, Major, Lindsey & Africa is the largest and most experienced legal search firm in the world. With more than 25 offices worldwide, Major, Lindsey & Africa has earned recognition for its track record of successful general counsel, corporate counsel, partner, associate and law firm management placements. The firm also provides law firms and companies with highly specialized legal professionals on project, interim and temporary-to-permanent hire basis. Combining local market knowledge and a global recruiting network, Major, Lindsey & Africa recruiters are dedicated to understanding and meeting client and candidate needs while maintaining the highest degree of professionalism and confidentiality. The firm considers every search a diversity search and has been committed to diversity in the law since its inception. Major, Lindsey & Africa is an Allegis Group company, the global leader in talent solutions.
To learn more about Major, Lindsey & Africa, visit www.mlaglobal.com
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