Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Bowie State University
Karen Johnson Shaheed, executive vice president and general counsel at Bowie State University, has left her mark in the fields of higher education, law and governance. She previously was secretary of higher education in the Maryland Higher Education Commision; deputy chief of staff for the governor’s office; and an assistant attorney general.
Among her community service, she has served on the Prince George’s County Hospital Authority, the Fountain Baptist Church and the Women’s Law Center.
As a lifelong Marylander, I have come to appreciate the vast opportunities available in a relatively small state such as ours. From attending the oldest all-girls public high school in the country, to working in our state Capitol where I could gaze out of my office window at a statue of one of my heroes, fellow Marylander, Thurgood Marshall, I have enjoyed so many unique experiences that have shaped my life. I’ve also discovered so many wonderful places within a short car ride, which seem like a million miles away from east Baltimore, where I grew up. My favorite place is St. Michael’s, where I cherish the serenity and beauty of the Chesapeake Bay. And, of course, there are the crabs! It is difficult for me to imagine living or working any place else.