Higher Education Symposium

Featured Speakers

David Greene
David A. Greene
President, Colby College

Since his inauguration as Colby College’s 20th president in 2014, David A. Greene has been executing an ambitious program for ensuring Colby’s place among the world’s finest liberal arts colleges. Colby, long an innovator in higher education, is distinctive in the ways it connects the liberal arts to the world. The investments underway are designed to enhance Colby’s intellectual culture, which is defined by the rigor of its academic programs and its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Current projects in support of that goal include expanding resources for and the ranks of the faculty, strategic partnerships to broaden opportunities for students, and major facilities projects to support educational and campus life programs.

Among facilities projects in planning and design are a major arts and innovation center, a completely new athletics complex, a center to support global, research, internship, and postgraduate experiences for students, and a downtown apartment complex for students and faculty. A first-in-NESCAC baseball and softball complex featuring separate artificial turf fields was dedicated in April 2016.

Recognizing that a vibrant downtown Waterville is critical to both the region and to Colby, Greene has worked with city leaders to make downtown revitalization a priority. The College’s early action, including the purchase of key buildings downtown, spurred additional private investment in real estate and economic activity on and around Main Street, notably Collaborative Consulting's plan to create 200 technology jobs in Waterville. Colby is working to develop a boutique hotel downtown as well as a student apartment complex on Main Street that will focus on civic engagement and community partnership.

In his first two years as Colby’s president, Greene launched task forces to bolster the College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and to make the institution more globally focused. He also led outreach efforts to communicate the value and impact of a Colby education, which resulted in a doubling of the number of students seeking admission to Colby. These efforts produced the most academically prepared and diverse classes in the College’s history. In 2015-16, Colby realized exceptional support for its programs, setting institutional records for funds raised in a single year.

Before arriving at Colby, Greene was executive vice president of the University of Chicago and, prior to that, served in leadership roles at Brown University and Smith College. At the University of Chicago he led high-priority initiatives including revitalization of community and commercial areas in Hyde Park, near the university’s campus; a master plan to support $3 billion in infrastructure improvements and expansion including residence halls, research buildings, clinical care facilities, and art centers; an affiliation with the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole and establishment of the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics; and development of new research and teaching centers in Chicago, New Delhi, and Beijing.

Greene received a bachelor’s degree in history from Hamilton College and a master’s degree in human development and psychology from Harvard University before earning a master’s and a doctoral degree in education and social policy at Harvard. In addition to the economics of education, his research interests include social and political movements and their influence on individuals and institutions.


Yvonne Chan
Yvonne Chan
Partner, Goodwin

Yvonne Chan is a partner in Goodwin’s Business Litigation Group and a member of the Steering Committee of the firm’s Higher Education Practice Group. Ms. Chan represents a wide variety of clients, including financial institutions, technology and life sciences companies, private equity firms, and colleges and universities.

Ms. Chan earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. from Stanford University. 

Alison Douglass
Alison Douglass
Partner, Goodwin

Alison Douglass, a partner in Goodwin’s Financial Industry and ERISA Litigation practices, focuses her practice on a wide array of complex commercial litigation, primarily in the areas of ERISA, mutual fund and securities litigation. She has been named a “Rising Star” by Law & Politics and Boston magazine and has been recognized by The Legal 500. She has also been ranked by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a nationwide “Recognised Practitioner” in ERISA Litigation.

Ms. Douglass represents clients in all phases of litigation, including pre-litigation counseling and trial and appellate matters in state and federal courts across the county and in regulatory investigations and governmental proceedings, including before the U.S. Department of Labor and the SEC. She also represents corporate and individual clients in complex commercial litigation matters, including breach of fiduciary duty claims, M&A disputes, IP and patent suits, bankruptcy, and insurance risk and coverage matters. As part of her ERISA and mutual fund litigation practice, Ms. Douglass is involved in a broad range of class actions, derivative actions and multi-proceeding litigations.

Ms. Douglass earned her J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law and her B.A. from Middlebury College.

Jamie Fleckner
Jamie Fleckner
Chair, ERISA Litigation practice, Goodwin

Jamie Fleckner is a partner in Goodwin’s Financial Industry Practice and Chair of its ERISA Litigation Practice. Mr. Fleckner represents clients in a wide array of complex commercial litigation, with a focus on financial services and products, including investment management. He regularly litigates class and derivative actions under ERISA, the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and related federal and state laws. His practice also focuses on regulatory investigations and governmental proceedings, and has represented clients before the U.S. Department of Labor, Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and state authorities.

Mr. Fleckner's success in litigating cutting edge legal issues has been profiled in The American Lawyer, Big Suits. According to The Legal 500 United States, Mr. Fleckner “is particularly strong, and is fast becoming a leader in ERISA fiduciary litigation involving financial products.” He has also been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and since 2015 has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the list of Who’s Who Legal: Pensions and Benefits.

Mr. Fleckner earned his J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and his B.A. from Trinity College.

Barbara Healy Smith
Assistant General Counsel, Northeastern University

Barbara Healy Smith joined the Office of General Counsel in February 2013, after 13 years in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where she handled both defensive and affirmative litigation and served as the office’s Ethics Advisor. At Northeastern she focuses on compliance and regulatory matters, working closely with the Compliance, Risk Management, and Internal Audit Departments to provide advice and promote best practices across the University. She has consulted and provided support on policy development and revision in a wide range of areas from Research to Environmental Health & Safety to Institutional Governance and Integrity.    

Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Barbara was a partner in the trial department at Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston. She is a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and earned an MAT from Brown University. She earned her law degree here at Northeastern, and then clerked for Justice Neil Lynch of the Supreme Judicial Court. A former high school English teacher, Barbara serves on the Board of First Literacy, a nonprofit organization that raises public awareness and private funds to support adult basic education, and was a founding board member of Discovering Justice.

Deirdre Heatwole
Deirdre Heatwole
General Counsel, University of Massachusetts

Deirdre (Dede) Heatwole is General Counsel for the 5-campus University of Massachusetts system, and oversees a law office of 12 attorneys. Ms. Heatwole has been with the University for over 20 years, starting as a litigator representing the University before state and federal courts, and then as a general practice attorney, before becoming General Counsel in 2008.

Ms. Heatwole began her legal career as a prosecutor, first in Brooklyn, New York and then in the Middlesex, Massachusetts, D.A’s office. Ms. Heatwole then was a litigator in private practice representing clients in trials and appeals in employment, negligence, and professional liability matters prior to joining UMass.  She has presented at programs at MCLE and NACUA.

Ms. Heatwole earned bachelors and master degrees at Boston University, and her JD from New York Law School. She is admitted to practice in New York, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia, and is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and the Boston Bar Association.

Steven Locke
Steven S. Locke
General Counsel, Brandeis University

Steven S. Locke joined Brandeis University’s Office of General Counsel in 2005 and served as Deputy General Counsel from July 2012 through January 2014, when he was appointed the University’s General Counsel. He oversees the University’s legal affairs and advises the University’s Board of Trustees, President, administration and faculty on a wide variety of legal matters involving the University. He is also responsible for managing legal matters, including litigation, handled by outside counsel. Prior to joining Brandeis, Steven served as the General Counsel at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination from 2001-2005. He directed the legal operations of the Commission, including overseeing the Commission’s prosecutorial and appellate functions. Steven also briefed and argued several key cases before the Massachusetts appellate courts, including the landmark case of Stonehill College v. MCAD, 441 Mass. 549 (2004), designated by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as the most important Massachusetts court decision of 2004. Steven has served as a member of the MCAD Advisory Board and as co-chair of the Boston Bar Association College and University Law Group. He has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at Suffolk University Law School and New England School of Law. Steven received his B.A. from Lafayette College and his J.D. from Boston College Law School.

Mark Nardone
Mark Nardone
Chief Information Security Officer, Northeastern University

The Office of Information Security is the central university resource for advice, recommendations and actions necessary to protect and preserve information assets and privacy of the Northeastern community. The office enforces IT-related policies and practices, and coordinates the activities and resources of all departments within the university who share responsibility for protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of institutional data and data processing capabilities.

Karen Neuman
Karen Neuman
Partner, Goodwin

Karen Neuman, a partner in Goodwin’s Business Litigation Group and a member of its Privacy + Cybersecurity Practice, is an internationally recognized privacy lawyer and former Chief Privacy Officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A solution-oriented practitioner with highly specialized expertise in complex privacy law matters at the intersection of technology and innovation, Ms. Neuman advises organizations and management on a broad range of issues related to data privacy, cybersecurity, and regulatory compliance.

Ms. Neuman’s practice is particularly focused on counseling companies on commercial privacy matters, including the collection, use, monetization and protection of customer and employee data. She has deep expertise providing advice on sector-specific privacy laws and regulations, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and compliance with the European Union Data Protection Directive. Since joining Goodwin she has conducted sessions for corporate boards on their evolving obligations for addressing cybersecurity risk, assisted companies with self-certification under the EU-US Privacy Shield for cross-border data transfers, and provided strategic counseling to a wide range of companies on privacy compliance.

Prior to joining Goodwin in 2016, Ms. Neuman was Chief Privacy Officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where she was the principal advisor to the DHS Secretary on privacy policy. As part of the DHS senior leadership team, Ms. Neuman oversaw, implemented and enforced the department’s privacy and data security program, and provided advice to other senior leaders concerning relevant statutes, rules, presidential orders, policies and best practices. She also spearheaded the integration of innovative privacy protections into various DHS programs, and oversaw how those protections were operationalized, notably the department’s big data analytics program, and White House initiatives for cybersecurity information sharing with commercial entities. She was a member of the U.S. delegation that negotiated an umbrella Data Privacy Protection Agreement with the EU and was part of the high-level U.S. team that supported negotiations for the new EU – U.S. Privacy Shield. She was also appointed to President Obama’s recently formed Federal Privacy Council.

Ms. Neuman was previously a founding partner of a Washington, D.C. law firm, where she led that firm’s privacy practice and counseled clients on state and federal sector-specific privacy laws, FTC rules and guidelines, state data breach laws, and EU privacy laws. As the head of that practice, she regularly counseled companies in the life sciences, technology, retail, e-commerce, social media and consumer product sectors. She routinely provided advice on devising and operationalizing privacy and data security programs, drafted website privacy policies, FAQs, and terms of use, and performed privacy due diligence in connection with various commercial transactions.

Ms. Neuman earned her J.D. from the Antioch School of Law and her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Brenda Sharton
Brenda Sharton
Chair, Privacy + Cybersecurity practice and Business Litigation practice, Goodwin

Brenda Sharton, a senior partner with Goodwin, is a first chair trial lawyer with over 25 years of experience. Ms. Sharton is the Chair of Goodwin’s Business Litigation Practice as well as its Privacy + Cybersecurity practice. She counsels and represents public and private corporations and their boards in complex commercial litigation, arbitrations and civil government/regulatory matters. Ms. Sharton also is a nationally recognized expert, sought after speaker, and thought leader in the area of privacy law. She has handled well over a hundred data privacy breach investigations and has been lead counsel on landmark privacy litigation. She has counseled and represented public and private corporations and their boards in complex commercial litigation, arbitration, and civil government / regulatory matters.

Ms. Sharton currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Business & Commercial section of the Boston Bar Association. She has been recognized for the past several years as a Boston magazine “Massachusetts Super Lawyer,” recommended for her financial services litigation and privacy work by The Legal 500 United States and featured in U.S. News-Best Lawyers for her commercial litigation work. Ms. Sharton is a frequent commentator on issues related to data privacy & cybersecurity. She has received awards and recognition for her pro bono work on behalf of rape victims for the Victim Rights Law Center (VRLC), where she serves as Co-Chair of the Board. Ms. Sharton has served on numerous committees at Goodwin, including the firm’s Executive Committee. She currently serves on the Allocations Committee.

Ms. Sharton has extensive first chair experience in all manner of claims in complex commercial litigation, internal investigations, arbitrations and civil government regulatory matters, involving contract claims, trade secret, post-closing disputes, non-compete, false advertising, business torts, fiduciary duties, banking and trust claims, fraud, minority shareholder and partnership disputes, among others. She is experienced with virtually every civil claim brought against financial services institutions and has a deep expertise in the industry. She has successfully tried both bench and jury cases to conclusion in federal and state courts throughout the country from Maine to California, and has represented clients in the full range of ADR procedures. In addition to trial work, Ms. Sharton has handled investigations and civil enforcement actions brought by an alphabet soup of federal and state regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Department of Labor (DOL), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Ms. Sharton earned her J.D. from Boston College Law School and her B.S. from the Carroll School of Management. 

Jay Wilcoxcon
Jay Wilcoxson
Counsel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jay Wilcoxson joined MIT as Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel in August 2007. His responsibilities include managing the Institute’s involvement in litigation and other legal proceedings and providing advice in a wide variety of matters concerning student life, intellectual property, and other Institute affairs.

Before coming to MIT, Mr. Wilcoxson practiced law for a decade at the Boston law firm Goodwin Procter LLP, where he became a partner in 2005. As a litigation attorney, he represented businesses in a broad range of commercial disputes, with a particular emphasis on trademark and copyright cases. He was a member of the firm’s hiring committee and was actively involved in leading firm training initiatives and serving as a mentor to junior associates.

Mr. Wilcoxson graduated from the University of Vermont and Boston University School of Law, where he was an editor for the Boston University Law Review.

He is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the Boston Bar Association.