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Traevena Byrd Begins Term as Chair of National Association of College and University Attorneys’ Board of Directors

June 28, 2024

(Washington, D.C.) Traevena Byrd, Vice President, General Counsel and Board Secretary for American University, has begun her term as Chair of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) Board of Directors effective June 27, 2024. Elected to office in May 2023, she will serve until June 24, 2025.

As a deeply committed member and engaged volunteer leader since 2002, Ms. Byrd previously served as a member-at-large and secretary of the Board of Directors. She has also held leadership positions on the Committee on Membership and Member Services, the Committee on Program for Annual Conference, and the Committee on Legal Education.  In recognition of her extraordinary service to both NACUA and to institutions of higher learning, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award, NACUA’s highest honor, in 2023.

Since 2018, Ms. Byrd has served as Vice President, General Counsel and Board Secretary for American University in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the President's cabinet and chief legal advisor to the university's executive officers and Board of Trustees. Ms. Byrd oversees the provision of legal services for the university, corporate governance, and board operations. She has previously worked at Towson University as Vice President and General Counsel, at Ithaca College as Title IX coordinator, EEO investigator, adjunct faculty member, and associate general counsel, and for the State of Iowa as Director of the Commission on the Status of African Americans. 

Ms. Byrd previously served on the accreditation commission for the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). She also serves as Chair of the Children’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., as a member of the University of Iowa Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Sciences, and is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Ms. Byrd is a frequent presenter on higher education legal issues, most notably on the subject of free speech and student protest. She has presented at numerous associations and organizations including NACUA, the Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA), the American Council on Education (ACE), the Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education (NASPA), the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Ms. Byrd is a graduate of the University of Iowa, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in African American World Studies with honors and her Juris Doctorate.