Pedersen, 44, has been an Associate General Counsel at the University of Nebraska since 2006 and spent the previous 18 years as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Lincoln, Neb. He serves as legal counsel to the Joint Antelope Valley Authority (JAVA), the administrative entity created by the City, University and Lower Platte South Natural Resources District to oversee the Antelope Valley Project, the largest public works initiative in Lincoln’s history. And he represented the City in the public/private partnership that resulted in Haymarket Park, an athletic complex that is home to the UNL baseball and softball teams as well as the Lincoln Saltdogs. Pedersen received his law degree from the University of Nebraska in 1988.
"Joel has had invaluable experience with the city and the University, structuring complex public-private partnerships and getting major projects completed," Milliken said. "His experience, judgment and integrity make him well-suited for this important role. I hope Joel will lead our legal team for many years to come."
The Vice President and General Counsel is the chief legal officer of the four-campus University and a member of its senior administrative leadership. Pedersen will lead a group of attorneys and professional staff who provides a wide array of legal services, advice and representation to the University community.
"I am delighted and grateful for the opportunity to serve as Vice President and General Counsel for the University of Nebraska," Pedersen said. "I want to thank President Milliken for his confidence and support. I respect the tradition of excellence the University of Nebraska has enjoyed with Dick Wood and the staff in the General Counsel’s office. It is an honor to have the opportunity to continue that tradition."
Pedersen was selected after a national search co-chaired by John Boyer of Omaha, a partner with Fraser Stryker P.C., L.L.C., and Linda Crump of Lincoln, Assistant to the Chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for Equity, Access and Diversity Programs, and Past President of the Nebraska State Bar Association. The position attracted applications from more than 40 candidates.
Pedersen’s appointment is subject to approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. He will be paid $170,000 annually.