Joel D. PedersenJoel D. Pedersen was selected as Vice President and General Counsel for the University of Nebraska in January, 2008. 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 leads a group of attorneys and professional staff, providing a wide array of legal services, advice and representation to the university community.
Prior to his appointment as General Counsel, Pedersen was Associate General Counsel for the University beginning in 2006, and worked on a broad range of initiatives including contracts related to the Holland Computing Center at the Peter Kiewit Institute, real estate transactions, construction contracts, and environmental law, including advising on compliance and removal actions at the Agriculture Research and Development Center (ARDC) Mead Superfund site.
Pedersen spent the previous 18 years as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Lincoln. Pedersen was lead counsel for the city in multiple civil litigation matters, including appellate practice before the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Nebraska. He represented the city in the public/private partnership that resulted in Haymarket Park, an athletic complex that is home to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln baseball and softball teams, as well as the Lincoln Saltdogs. He served as legal counsel for Lincoln’s Community Health Endowment, the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Board, and drafted and negotiated legal agreements for the Access Medicaid Program. Pedersen also served as legal counsel for Pershing Auditorium and served on the Arena Task Force finance subcommittee. Pedersen represented the city in a number of complex redevelopment projects involving tax increment financing, infrastructure, real estate acquisitions and environmental compliance.
Pedersen currently 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.
Pedersen is a member of the Nebraska Bar Association, and is admitted to practice in Nebraska and the Federal District Courts in Nebraska. Pedersen is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, serves on the executive committee of the Corporate Counsel section of the NSBA and is a Master of the Bar in the Robert Van Pelt American Inns of Court.
Pedersen received his B.A. in English from South Dakota State University in December of 1984, and his law degree from the University of Nebraska in 1988. He and his wife, Jean, have two children, Nicole and Kyle.