Office of the General Counsel and Compliance

The Office of the General Counsel and Compliance (OGC) (formerly known as the Office of Legal Affairs) is comprised of two branches, the General Counsel unit and the Compliance unit. While both branches are under the supervision of Sunanda Holmes, AUC’s General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, the two branches serve different functions. Lawyers serving under the General Counsel unit provide legal advice and counsel on the broad spectrum of legal issues that arise in the operation of the University. Meanwhile, the Compliance unit focuses on encouraging ethical behavior on our campus by educating employees on the AUC’s code of ethics and providing compliance oversight. Both branches serve AUC and its faculty, staff, and students in University-related matters.

This web page allows members of the AUC community to become more familiar with the office's functions and operations, and to inform the AUC community about important legal matters that are essential to their role as faculty, staff, or students of the University.

General Counsel Unit

  • Mission: The Office of the General Counsel, working collaboratively with our clients, seeks to advance the University’s mission through skilled advice, vigorous advocacy and effective, proactive counsel. Our function is to provide, manage and coordinate quality legal services including legal counsel and advice, litigation and legal risk management, contract drafting and review, and other services and counsel to all parts of the University.
  • Vision: To be trusted strategic counselors to our University clients, who are dedicated to offering counsel that is innovative and creative, yet practical and achievable in accord with the best practices of the finest universities. It is the goal of the office to provide counsel to minimize legal risk and costs, reduce litigation exposure, and ensure legal compliance, and to do so efficiently, expeditiously, reliably and professionally.
  • The Office of the General Counsel represents the University, including individual AUC officials acting in their official capacities. The office does not represent individual faculty, students, staff members or administrators in personal legal matters outside the scope of their business as University officials.
  • University personnel should not contact outside counsel concerning University business without prior consultation with the OGC. Similarly, all communications from outside attorneys should be referred to the OGC.
  • Services include reviewing legal documents and contracts in both Arabic and English, and providing legal advice and opinions to various departments in different fields of the law.

For University policies and procedures, click here.

Information From AUC FERPA Trainings

  • For the FERPA Guidelines Handout, click here
  • For the FERPA FERPA Presentation Slides, click here

Useful FERPA Links

Who does the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) represent?
The Office of the General Counsel provides legal advice and representation to AUC as a whole. OGC lawyers advise the trustees, officers, faculty and staff in their official capacities on issues impacting the University.

What type of legal services does the OGC provide?
The OGC is responsible for providing a full range of legal services to the University.

How can I contact the Office of the General Counsel?
The Office of the General Counsel is located in room 2037. For general inquiries, email or call +20.2.2615.2207. If you need to speak with a specific member of our OGC team, refer to the General Counsel staff members. If you need to speak to someone regarding compliance concerns, contact Mohamed Khamis, senior director of compliance at

Can I retain outside counsel for a University matter?
No. Only the OGC can retain outside counsel. If you believe outside counsel is needed for a University matter, you should contact a lawyer in the OGC who will determine if outside counsel is necessary and appropriate.

Can the OGC represent or give legal advice to individual faculty members or students on non-University matters?
No. The OGC represents the University and works only on University-related matters.

Is what I tell you confidential?
It is privileged as to third parties, but not as to other relevant University officials.

I have been contacted by a third party and been asked to forward to them a copy of a student’s transcript and student file. Do I have the authority to access these files and forward them to a third party?
Normally, no. See information from AUC FERPA Trainings and Useful FERPA Links.

Sunanda Holmes
General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer
t: +20.2.2615.2265

Ibrahim Wagdy
Associate University Counsel
t: +20.2.2615.2476

Ahmed Shehata
Assistant University Counsel
t: 20.2.2615.2214

Hassan El Kassas
Assistant University Counsel
t: +20.2.2615.2217

Tamer Kamara
Assistant University Counsel
t: +20.2.2615.2483

Kholoud Elsebai
Executive Assistant to General Counsel and Compliance Chief Officer
t: +20.2.2615.2207

University Compliance Unit

We are committed to encouraging and promoting ethical behavior, a culture of integrity, and a commitment to compliance at The American University in Cairo. Our function is to provide day-to-day compliance advice to employees, ensuring that all employees are educated on AUC’s code of ethics, and conducting ongoing oversight and monitoring of compliance with laws, rules, regulations, and policies.

Types of Compliance Concerns and Examples

i. Fraud and financial improprieties:

  • “One of my co-workers may be improperly using University funds.”
  • “This transaction appears to be a violation of University policy and/or federal regulations.”

ii. Research misconduct:

  • ​​​​​​“One of my peers may have falsified research results.”

iii. Discrimination or harassment:

  • ​​​​“I feel threatened by actions in the workplace.”

Mohamed Khamis
Senior Director, Compliance
t: +20.2.2615.2216

Sunanda Holmes
General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer
t: +20.2.2615.2265