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Priya Harjani named associate vice president

Deputy General Counsel to help lead Northwestern’s legal office

Priya J. Harjani, currently deputy general counsel at Northwestern University, has been promoted to associate vice president and deputy general counsel for the University, effective July 1, 2019, Stephanie Graham, Northwestern’s vice president and general counsel, announced today. 

Priya Harjani
Priya Harjani

A graduate of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Harjani also graduated summa cum laudewith her BS in psychology and speech communication from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is a member of the bar in Illinois and the District of Columbia and also is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Priya Harjani is an accomplished and extremely talented attorney with a wide variety of skills, scholarship and accolades to her credit,” Graham said in making the announcement. “She is also a trusted advisor and a strategic thinker, and she will continue to play a key leadership role in the Office of General Counsel.”

Harjani has served in the Office of General Counsel for 15 years, starting as assistant general counsel in 2004, moving to associate general counsel in 2007 and senior associate general counsel in 2014. She became deputy general counsel in 2016 and now adds the associate vice president role to her title.

In her new position, Harjani will continue to help lead the Office of General Counsel, supervise attorneys and staff, manage areas of the office and facilitate the performance of more strategic and proactive work by the office.

She also counsels on labor and employment law matters. In addition, Harjani represents the University in federal and state court as well as at various administrative agencies. She also has experience with athletics, affirmative action, governmental investigations, regulatory compliance, risk management, audits, contracts and community relations.

Harjani serves on various University committees, including the policy review committee, the accessibility committee and many others. She also teaches a graduate-level course titled “Legal and Ethical Issues in Higher Education” in Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. 

In 2017, she was awarded the First Chair - Top Corporate Counsel Award, and in 2016, she won the Corporate Counsel Achievement Award from the South Asian Bar Association of North America. She also has presented around the country on a variety of legal issues from dealing with complicated cases to workplace mental health issues and mediating with regulatory agencies.

She serves on various community and civic organizations, as well, including Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago, the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago Foundation and the Midwest Minority In-House Counsel Group. Harjani is also a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and a frequent speaker at NACUA conferences.

Diversity and the Bar published a profile on Harjani in 2017 about how she has channeled her legal passion into serving Northwestern and excelling at the law in academia and higher education.