The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Lisa Friel '79

Lisa Friel ’79 is Senior Vice President and Special Counsel for Investigations of the National Football League (NFL). The NFL)is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. Its championship game is called the Super Bowl, played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

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In the late summer of 2014, the issue of domestic violence became a public focus among NFL fans and the media due to some high-profile cases involving NFL players. Since then, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hired advisors, which included Lisa Mendelson Friel, to develop and implement the league’s policies, resources, and outreach on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault. Lisa’s emphasis is on the evaluation process of incidents of alleged domestic violence and sexual assault. She will advise the league on disciplinary matters involving violations of law or of the Personal Conduct Policy and oversee investigations as Special Counsel for Investigations.

Career Summary:  Lisa joined T&M Protection Resources in October 2011 as Vice President of the Sexual Misconduct Consulting & Investigations division following a distinguished 28-year career as a Manhattan prosecutor. Since joining T&M Protection Resources, Lisa and her team have developed policies and procedures, provided training workshops, and conducted sensitive investigations into issues of sexual misconduct (both sexual assault and sexual harassment), harassment, hazing and bullying for primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, athletic teams and leagues (collegiate and professional), non-profit organizations, corporations and private individuals.

Lisa began her professional career at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. Hired by District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau in 1983, she specialized in sexual assault cases for the majority of her career at the District Attorney’s Office. She was the Chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit for nearly a decade and its Deputy Chief for 11 years. Supervising more than 40 assistant district attorneys, support staff and investigators, she typically managed 300 cases and investigations at any one time. Since her first days as a prosecutor in 1983, and continuing in her tenure at T&M Protection Resources, Lisa has directed thousands of investigations into allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct and has trained hundreds of law enforcement personnel throughout the world. Lawmakers in Albany and Washington repeatedly called upon her expertise to toughen laws against sexual predators, combat human trafficking, create DNA databanks and establish laws and protocols to eliminate the backlog of untested rape kits on the shelves of police departments’ evidence rooms around the country.

An instructor, educator, lecturer, and former Division 1 varsity basketball and tennis player and basketball coach, Lisa has connected with diverse audiences ranging from seasoned detectives to school children, doctors to volunteer sexual assault advocates, as well as athletes and athletic personnel at all levels. She has headlined legal, sports, and education conferences, has provided training to all types of audiences, and has participated in numerous interviews and films addressing sexual harassment and assault, rape, stalking, and domestic violence.

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences