Office of General Counsel


Attorneys, paralegals and support staff of the Office of General Counsel.

Office of General Counsel

(L-R) Eileen Goldgeier, Sally Mitchell, Nicole Picard, Sherri Quental, Yolanda Lamboy (retired), Jim Green, Kate Peterson, Michael Grabo, Shannon Covill, Alicia Brodeur and Zac Pencikowski (not pictured). Photo by Kelly A. Mitchell

Vice President and General Counsel

  • Eileen Goldgeier

    Vice President and General Counsel

    Eileen is an accomplished university attorney and advisor with over 26 years’ experience providing thoughtful and sophisticated advice on a broad range of issues affecting private (Johns Hopkins and Brown) and public (NC State and UNC Wilmington) universities. She has a demonstrated record being an integral member of the university’s senior leadership team with a strong emphasis on fostering communication and relationships of trust and confidence with clients through collaborative and innovative approaches to solving university legal issues. Eileen’s practice emphasizes advising clients on civil rights, employment law, Title IX, free speech, campus safety, ADA, business and transactional matters, student affairs, athletics, research, strategic partnerships and innovation, and academic affairs. She has extensive knowledge of federal laws impacting higher education.  Prior to Brown, she served as general counsel at NC State University and UNC Wilmington. Eileen is licensed to practice law in Maryland, District of Columbia (inactive), North Carolina and Rhode Island. She is an active member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and serves on the AAU General Counsel Committee.

    Eileen has a A.B. in Environmental Studies (Honors) from Brown University and a J.D. from Emory University School of Law

Deputy General Counsel

  • James M. Green

    Jim has been a practicing attorney for thirty-five years. Since joining Brown’s OGC in 2006, he has been a higher education attorney and advisor providing advice on a broad range of issues affecting the University. He is a former manager and legal counsel at a public sector nonprofit. Jim has extensive law firm practice experience in management-side labor and employment law, education law, insurance law, and related litigation.  He is a former law clerk to a state supreme court chief justice.

    As Deputy General Counsel, Jim is responsible for advising the medical school in all health affairs matters, and advises the University on faculty affairs, governance issues,  labor negotiations, and innovation.

    Jim has an A.B. in history from Brown (Class of 1982) and a J.D. (with honors) from Boston College Law School. He is a member of the Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts Bars, and a member of the Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

  • Kathleen (Kate) Peterson

    Kate came to Brown University in May of 2019 after more than a dozen years as Vice President and Senior Counsel of Employment & Litigation at Citizens Bank.  Prior to joining Citizens, Kate was a labor & employment litigator at Sullivan & Worcester LLP in Boston and Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP in both Boston and Providence. 

    As Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Employment Law, Kate is responsible for advising the University on all labor and employment matters, as well as managing the University’s broad litigation portfolio.  She partners closely with division heads, human resources, compliance personnel, and key stakeholders to meaningfully provide advice and respond to and defend litigation or agency inquiries regarding employee relations functions as well as a broad range of litigation and investigations in a complex, fast-paced environment. Kate also leads employee and manager training with an eye towards compliance practices and risk mitigation and throughout her career has been a frequent speaker on a variety of labor & employment topics, ranging from wage and hour issues and ADA/FMLA concerns to the impact of social media on the workplace and related privacy implications.

    Kate graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Providence College and earned her J.D. from Boston University School of Law and her M.P.H. from Boston University School of Public Health, while serving as the school’s Health Law Fellow.  During law school, Kate served as a Note Editor on BU Law School’s American Journal of Law & Medicine.  Kate currently serves as an adjunct professor at Providence College, where she teaches business law.

Associate General Counsel

  • Michael D. Grabo

    Michael has been practicing law since 2003 and has specialized in the area of higher education law since 2008. Since joining the Office of the General Counsel in 2013, Michael has provided advice and counsel on a broad range of issues affecting the University. Michael principally advises on matters involving student affairs and campus life, Title IX and ADA/Section 504 compliance, international matters, and privacy and records.

    Prior to joining Brown, Michael served as Assistant General Counsel at Roger Williams University. Michael began his legal career as a litigation associate at Edwards & Angell, LLP in Providence before moving to New York City where he practiced complex commercial litigation at Sidley Austin, LLP. Michael received his J.D. from Georgetown Law and his B.A. from the University of Scranton. He is admitted to practice law in Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts (inactive), and the District of Columbia (inactive).

    Michael is an active member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and serves on the House of Delegates of the Rhode Island Bar Association.

  • Zac Pencikowski

    Zac has over twenty years of experience representing large institutional clients on complex commercial transactions and general corporate matters. As Associate General Counsel for Brown, Zac is responsible for supporting the University on a wide variety of important business, financial and operational projects, in particular those involving agreements with third parties such as real estate, technology and sustainability matters, and contracts with third party vendors.

    Before joining Brown in 2022, Zac was Assistant General Counsel for People’s United Bank. He previously held senior legal positions at Citizens Bank and Hewlett Packard, and worked for Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York City and Edwards & Angell LLP in Providence.

    After graduating Johns Hopkins University with dual degrees in Economics and Latin American Studies, Zac received his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.  Zac is licensed to practice law in New York and Rhode Island.

  • Nicole Picard

    Nicole's practice is focused on the research enterprise at Brown University.  She advises on federal regulatory matters related to sponsored research, including contracts and grants, research integrity, lab safety, centers and institutes, export controls, and medicine and health affairs, as well as other areas in the research arena.  Prior to Brown, Nicole worked in the government contracts practice of a large international law firm in Washington, D.C. where she advised clients on a broad range of complex regulatory, transactional, and litigation matters.  She clerked for the U.S Court of Federal Claims and the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 

    Nicole has a J.D., summa cum laude, from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, and a B.A., cum laude, from Providence College.


  • Alicia Brodeur

    Alicia is an experienced litigation paralegal focused on managing all stages of the University’s complex litigation matters and administrative agency inquiries. She coordinates the Litigation Hold process and the University’s response to third-party information and document requests. Alicia also works closely with various University departments on information gathering, internal investigations, and monitoring potential areas of risk.

    Alicia holds a B.A. from Alfred University, a Certificate of Paralegal Studies from Roger Williams University, and is a commissioned Rhode Island Notary Public.

  • Shannon Covill

    Shannon has over twelve years of paralegal experience focused in higher education law. As senior paralegal, she works both independently and alongside the OGC attorneys in the performance of legal research and analysis for various complex legal subject matters by identifying issues, deficiencies, and potential outcomes while contemplating creative solutions.  She is focused on balancing the timely delivery of legal services to accomplish the mission, goals, and strategies of the University with a focus on mitigating risk and concentrating on compliance with applicable laws and employer policies. Her favorite area of expertise is FERPA and on any given day can be found in the kitchen area serving up a batch of homemade desserts  to her hungry co-workers.

    Shannon has a B.A. from Cazenovia College and is commissioned as a Rhode Island Notary Public.

  • Sally A. Mitchell

    Sally has over ten years of experience with the Office of General Counsel. Her primary focus is providing administrative support to the Vice President and General Counsel. She is also the department’s financial coordinator, administrator for the OGC’s matter management system and department computer coordinator.

    Prior to joining Brown University, Sally applied her records management and legal research skills in the legal department library of a local Fortune 500 corporation and later applied her skills and interest in information technology at a local personal protection manufacturer providing hardware and technology support.

  • Sherri Quental

    Legal Administrative Coordinator

    After graduating from Katharine Gibbs in 1994, Sherri spent 13 years working in private law firms serving in various roles from administrative to supervisory before accepting a position as an executive secretary at a local Brown-affiliated teaching hospital. Returning to the legal field after 14 years, Sherri joined the Office of General Counsel in July 2021 and is a commissioned Rhode Island Notary Public.