Dona Cornell

Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, University of Houston

Dona Cornell

Dona Cornell became University of Houston System vice chancellor for legal affairs and general counsel and University of Houston vice president for legal affairs and general counsel in June 2002. In her role, she is responsible for all legal matters of the System and each of its campuses which includes transactional matters, all aspects of compliance and ethics, athletics issues, litigation management and advice and counsel regarding academic and student issues as well as many other legal matters affecting the System.     

Prior to her appointment, she served as the deputy chief of the General Litigation Division for the Texas Attorney General's office. As deputy chief for litigation, Cornell supervised thirty attorneys with responsibility for the 700-plus cases handled by the division.  Previously she was a shareholder in the Austin-based law firm Morehead, Jordan & Carmona.

Cornell earned her undergraduate and law degrees from The University of Texas at Austin. She is licensed to practice law throughout Texas and in U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Prior to receiving her law degree, she served as a committee clerk and legislative aide in the 68th Texas Legislature, and an assistant director of Senate Bill Analysis for the 70th Texas Legislature.