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Higher Education Labor Relations Board Members

Karl K. Pence, Chair

Karl K. Pence,  Hollywood.

Mr. Pence is a teacher in the St. Mary’s County Public School system.  He previously served as the President of the Maryland State Teachers Association and was the first Executive Director of the Higher Education Labor Relations Board, in addition to serving at the Board’s third Chair.

Harriet E. Cooperman, Esq.

Harriet E. Cooperman, Esq., Chair, Annapolis.

Ms. Cooperman is a member of the Baltimore firm of Saul Ewing LLP and chairs its Labor, Employment, and Employee Benefits Practice Group.  Ms. Cooperman has served on related ABA and MSBA committees based on her experience representing both labor and management, and also has taught labor law and employment discrimination law as an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law.  She previously served as Vice Chair of this Board before taking the Chair position in January of 2020.

Aurora Carmichael

Aurora Carmichael, Fort Washington.

Ms. Carmichael currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of The Carmichael Group and has over twenty years of experience in higher education and nonprofits.  She has worked on Capitol Hill having served as a Legislative Fellow in the Office of Senator Claiborne Pell and she also worked in the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices (which had been established by Title III of the Civil Rights Act of 1991).  Ms. Carmichael is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and AU’s Kogod School of Business where she has taught as an adjunct lecturer at the graduate level.

Milton Lawler, Ph.D., Oxon Hill

Dr. Milton Lawler currently serves as President and CEO of Ashante Fe Education Limited and Executive Director of Maryland Institute of Language and Technology and El Shaddai Outreach Temple, Inc. He has over twenty years of experience in higher education and nonprofits.  He has worked at the Pentagon having served as Chief, Personnel and Manpower Management (he was responsible for graduate education management, professional military education, and reserve officer training corps cadets).  Dr. Lawler is a graduate of the Strayer University (Information Systems), University of Maryland University College (minor Personnel and Labor Relations), Webster University (Management) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Human Development). He served as professor, campus chief administrative officer, and campus dean with Strayer University where he taught research, business (with courses on human resources (with included employee and labor relations)), information systems, and education courses at the graduate level.  He also managed professional development and career development offices in the United States Air Force and at Strayer University.


Benfred B. Alston, Esq., Catonsville.

Mr. Alston has been in private practice since 1989 and is a partner with the law firm of Alston & Byrd in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Alston is a graduate of Morgan State University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Baltimore Law School. His law practice focuses on civil rights, business transactions and government.

Information about requirements, appointments and terms for the Board members can be found here.