How to Play the Game: Navigating the State Legislative Process

Speaker Biographies

Karen Johnson ShaheedKaren Johnson Shaheed serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel and Chief of Staff at Bowie State University. She manages all legal matters for the University, providing advice and counsel to the President and campus administrators on a variety of legal and policy issues affecting the university. She also oversees government relations, working to advance the university's mission and interests as its principal liaison to local, state and federal agencies and officials. She has served on an interim basis twice as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for the university. With over 30 years of experience in law, higher education, legislative affairs and public administration in the state of Maryland, Karen has served as Secretary of Higher Education and CEO of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the statewide coordinating agency for postsecondary education, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, and Assistant Attorney General and Assistant Secretary for Regulatory Policy and Programs at the Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation. She began her career as a litigator at a major law firm in Baltimore. She has served as an adjunct professor of legal writing and advocacy.  

Karen has been a NACUA member since 2004. She has previously served on the Committee on Membership and Member Services and the NACUANOTES Editorial Board. She currently serves on the Committee on Board Operations. 

Karen has also spoken at several NACUA events. Karen received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. She has been with Bowie State University since 2007. 

Derek Langhauser

Derek Langhauser is Of Counsel to the Maine Community College System.  He previously served for over 25 years as its General Counsel and President.  Derek is a Fellow and former President of NACUA and long-time member of the JCUL Editorial Board.  He teaches constitutional law for the University of Maine Law School and his political experience includes serving as Chief Legal Counsel to two Governors and a United States Senator.







Bill Mullowney

Bill Mullowney serves as Vice President for Policy and General Counsel for Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. He serves as Valencia's chief legal officer and as its lobbyist and legislative counsel to the executive and legislative branches of the State of Florida. He also serves as Program Chair for the biannual Community College Conference on Legal Issues. He earned his B.B.A. degree from the University of Miami School of Business, and his J.D. and LL.M. degrees from the University of Miami School of Law. Prior to his position at Valencia, Dr. Mullowney served as General Counsel at Whittier College in California and before that as University Ombudsman at the University of Miami. While at Whittier, Dr. Mullowney was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Whittier Law School, where he taught classes in Sports Law and Higher Education Law. While at Miami, he launched the university's Student Honor Code and served as an Associate Faculty Master at the Hecht Residential College. 

Dr. Mullowney is a member of the Florida Bar and the State Bar of California. He is Florida Bar Board Certified as a Specialist in Education Law. He is a member of the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists and is certified as a Designated Professional Lobbyist. He has completed three elected terms of service on the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), serving as a member-at-large, then as Secretary, and in his most recent term, he served as the Chair of the Board. He also has served on the Boards of the Florida Colleges Activities Association, the Association of Florida Colleges (AFC), and the AFC Foundation. He also serves on the Florida Bar's Education Law Committee and the American Association of Community College's Legal Advisory Group. He has spoken on issues regarding higher education law at numerous panel discussions and conferences presented by NACUA, the Association of Governing Boards, the American Council on Education, College and University Personnel Administrators-HR, Stetson University Conference on Law and Higher Education, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Southern Association of College and University Business Officers, American Association of Community Colleges, Association of Community College Trustees, National Association of Directors of Athletics, International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, and AFC.