Philip J. Catanzano, Co-founder of Education & Sports Law Group
Phil Catanzano is currently a co-founder of Education & Sports Law Group. Prior to starting Education & Sports Law Group, Phil was Senior Counsel at Holland & Knight for seven years and, prior to that, an attorney at the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights for almost a decade where he investigated institutions accused of discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, or race/ethnicity, among others. Phil has also served in Title IX coordinating roles and supportive roles for accessibility services offices on an interim basis. In the accessibility context, this includes advising and conducting programmatic reviews around accommodation processes, physical accessibility, and digital accessibility. A primary aspect of Phil's practice is representing institutions involved in investigations or compliance reviews with federal regulators from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice. Phil also teaches higher education law and disability law at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, as well as at Boston College. Using this classroom experience, Phil often shares with audiences the practical benefits and challenges of creating an accessible classroom environment.
Olabisi Okubadejo, Associate Vice President for Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Compliance, Georgetown University
Olabisi “Bisi” Okubadejo currently serves as Associate Vice President of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Compliance at Georgetown University. Prior to transitioning to Georgetown, Bisi was Of Counsel at Ballard Spahr LLP, where her practice focused on civil rights and employment issues in higher education, particularly on matters arising from alleged discrimination on the basis of race, disability, religion, age, and sex, including sexual harassment and sexual violence.
She has experience both as an attorney in private practice and as a supervisory attorney with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Ms. Okubadejo has advised colleges and universities on their compliance with federal laws, including Title IX, the ADA, Section 504, the Clery Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination Act, FERPA, and Title VII. She has experience working with educational institutions and business entities on digital accessibility issues, including compliance with government settlement agreements and ensuring the accessibility of websites and course materials. Ms. Okubadejo's experience includes providing interactive training on civil rights issues to coordinators, administrators, hearing panels/judicial boards, campus safety departments, and students. She also has significant experience conducting and overseeing internal investigations and program reviews of higher education institutions and other employers, and auditing policies and procedures.
Karen Petrulakis, General Counsel, Wellesley College
Karen Petrulakis joined Wellesley College as its first General Counsel in late August 2017. In this position, she is responsible for the overall vision and strategy for the legal affairs of the College. She is a member of the Senior Leadership Team and provides legal advice and counsel to the President, Board of Trustees, and other members of the College community on a broad range of legal matters.
Karen previously served the University of California system as Chief Deputy General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, a role that included overseeing litigation across the University of California system's ten campuses. Prior to joining the University of California, she was a partner in Crowell & Moring LLP's San Francisco office, where her practice included complex commercial litigation and employment litigation and counseling for corporate clients as well as public entities and universities.
Karen served on the NACUA Board of Directors from 2018-2021, and currently serves on NACUA’s Committee on Honors and Awards and NACUA’s Committee on Nominations and Elections. Karen has previously served as Chair of NACUA’s Strategic Planning Committee, as Vice Chair of NACUA’s Committee on Board Operations, and as a member of NACUA’s Committee on the Program for the Annual Conference. Karen currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Boston Bar Association's (BBA) College and University Law Section and served on the Advisory Committee for the BBA’s 2020 Higher Education Legal Conference. Massachusetts Lawyers’ Weekly recently honored Karen as a 2022 In-House Leader in the Law.
Karen holds a B.A. in History, with high honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.