*Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D., has named trusted international legal advisor Maria A. Feeley general counsel, effective July 20.
Prior to joining FAMU, Feeley served in a dual role as a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP and as a senior consultant for Freeh Group International Solutions, LLC (FGIS), which acquired Pepper in 2012. FGIS is a global risk management company founded by former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh.
As a Pepper Hamilton partner, Feeley displayed exemplary leadership as a facilitator and problem solver providing practical advice and creative solutions to academic institutions, government entities, and foreign and domestic companies, on a wide range of novel and complex matters.
Feeley has counseled colleges, universities, school districts, and other academic institutions on ethics, compliance, risk management, institutional responses to crises, investigations, the Clery Act, government relations, and organizational and committee structures.
“Ms. Feeley is a seasoned and esteemed lawyer who has served as a trusted adviser to senior executives, public officials, academia, and leading international corporations, with a track record of success as in-house counsel and external counsel,” said Mangum.
“We are excited about Ms. Feeley’s immense talent and passion and welcome her to the FAMU community. Her leadership capabilities and commitment to excellence will help to move FAMU forward in becoming a best-in-class university.”
Feeley is the chair of the Board of Trustees of Rosemont College, where she has served as a member of the board since 2012. She is also an elected member of the Law Council of Washington and Lee University.
As a result of her leadership profile, government relations, and ethics and compliance credentials, in 2014, the Governor of Pennsylvania appointed her to the State Ethics Commission. Additionally, she served for several years as senior vice president and general counsel at Independent Custom Realty, a commercial and residential real estate brokerage, development, and property management company, where she provided oversight for all of its litigation and legal matters.
Feeley’s passion for higher education is underscored by her service as a business law professor at her alma mater Rosemont College in Philadelphia, where she taught business students about business ethics, corporate integrity, the sources and nature of the U.S. legal system, how U.S. laws influence business decisions, and how organizations operate.
“Working for FAMU is especially attractive to me given the University’s strategic leadership and its commitment to the advancement of knowledge, the resolution of complex issues, and the empowerment of citizens and communities,” said Feeley. “I look forward to supporting and working in an organization with inspiring leadership and a dynamic mission.”
Feeley is also a respected author and a recipient of the prestigious Philadelphia Bar Association’s F. Sean Peretta Award, the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” award, and the American Lawyer Media “Lawyer on the Fast Track” Award.
Her numerous appointments include serving as co-chair of the Promotion of Women Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, a member of the Strategic Planning Committee of Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and history in 1993 from Rosemont College and her law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1997.