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NACUA's First Decade Award

Kelly Capen Douglas - 2015

Kelly Capen Douglas became the general counsel at the University of San Diego in 2005. As general counsel, she oversees and manages all legal affairs for the university. Prior to joining USD, Kelly was a partner at Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps LLP, where she specialized in employment law, served as the leader of the labor and employment law practice group, and was a frequent speaker at various human resources and business organizations.

Kelly has been an active member of NACUA since joining in 2005. Her record of service has been impressive during her first ten years as a NACUA member. She currently serves on the Committee on Program for the Annual Conference and has been a member of that Committee for five years. She also served as Vice Chair and then Chair of the Committee on Strategic planning. She was a Vice Chair of the NACUANOTES Editorial Board. In addition, Kelly is a frequent speaker and moderator at various NACUA programs. Given her extensive service to NACUA, Kelly was elected to NACUA’s Board of Directors and served from 2011-2014. An active volunteer in the San Diego community, Kelly serves as a board member and vice chair of Goodwill Industries of San Diego and Imperial Counties and recently concluded her service as a board member of Christ Church Day School. She has received honors through the San Diego Business Journal’s General Counsel Awards and the San Diego Daily Transcript’s Power of Attorneys programs, both of which recognize top corporate counsel in the community. In 2014, her office was recognized with the Powerful Partnership Award, in recognition of outstanding collaboration with USD’s Student Affairs team to enhance the quality of the student experience. Ms. Douglas is a member of the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and is a graduate of LEAD San Diego. 

Kelly earned her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University. She received her J.D. degree with high honors from the Duke University School of Law, where she earned membership in the Order of the Coif and was selected as the outstanding woman law graduate. Kelly and her husband JD have two children, Courtney and Collin.

Kelly’s NACUA colleagues describe her as a “class act”. Kelly is extremely generous with her time and faithfully shares her considerable legal experience and sage advice with her NACUA colleagues while always modeling NACUA’s core values of civility and collegiality.

NACUA is pleased to recognize Kelly Capen Douglas as the recipient of this year’s First Decade Award for her outstanding service to the Association and to the practice of higher education law during her first ten years of membership.