Mary E. Nelson has joined St. Louis Community College as its general counsel and chief legal officer.
Nelson has more than 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors, including stints in two mayoral administrations in St. Louis, positions in state government, and partnerships in several firms. Nelson’s law practice concentrated in real estate, construction, and business law. She was the first African-American woman appointed to Missouri’s Administrative Hearing Commission, leaving that post to accept her current position with STLCC.
Nelson served as president of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners, on the 2001 Missouri House of Representatives Reapportionment and Redistricting Commission, and served two terms on the Board of Trustees of the MU Law School Foundation.
Nelson’s community service includes volunteer work for Girls Incorporated of St. Louis, the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, Jazz at the Bistro, the Opera Theater of St. Louis, the Central West End-Southeast Special Taxing District, and the St. Louis Committee for the Princeton Prize in Race Relations.
An active member of the Missouri Bar, Nelson has held leadership posts for the Bar Foundation Board of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, and the Mound City Bar Association.
She received a Women’s Justice Award from Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly in 2010. She was inducted into the Women’s Academy of Leaders by the YWCA of Metropolitan St. Louis in 2009; recognized in 2004 by the St. Louis CORO Foundation with its Emerging Leader Award; and named by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of its “Twenty-five Most Influential Business Women” of 2002. In 2006, she earned the Outstanding Alumni Award from University of Missouri’s Black Law Student Association, and was as an Honorary Initiate of the Order of the Coif in 2011 by the University of Missouri School of Law.
Nelson earned her bachelor’s degree in political philosophy from Princeton University, and her juris doctorate is from the University Of Missouri School Of Law.