People

Kerena Higgins, Assistant Attorney General, Education Team Leader

Higgins is a managing attorney within the Office of the Washington State Attorney General. She currently serves as Team Leader to the attorneys handling Education and Labor and Industries work in the Bellingham office and at Western. Higgins has been an Assistant Attorney General in the Attorney General’s office since 2001, beginning in the agency’s Tacoma Division and transferring to the Bellingham office in 2002. She has handled a wide variety of litigation and client advice matters over the years, including dependency and termination of parental rights cases, Labor and Industries litigation, and day care licensing-related litigation. Kerena currently advises all public education institutional clients. In addition to her work with Western, Kerena represents Bellingham Technical College (since 2007), Skagit Valley College, and Educational Service District 189. She has also previously served as counsel to Peninsula College. Prior to coming to the Attorney General’s office, Kerena worked for the Thurston County Prosecutor. She also worked for Washington State University in their grant and contract office. Prior to moving to Washington State, Kerena worked as a Legislative Aide for the US Senate Subcommittee on Education, Arts and the Humanities.

A graduate of the University of Vermont and Seattle University School of Law, Kerena enjoys spending time with her family, skiing, gardening, and playing with their many animals.

Rob Olson, Assistant Attorney General

Olson serves as the full time Assistant Attorney General to Western Washington University under the guidance and supervision of Education Team Leader Kerena Higgins. Rob has a long relationship with Western. Prior to his appointment advising Western, he taught business law in the College of Business and Economics from January 1998 until June 2016. His previous assignment with the Washington State Attorney General's Office was representing Child Protective Services in their efforts to protect abused and neglected children. Rob has been with the Attorney General's Office since April 2010. Prior to joining the Attorney General's Office, he was with the Whatcom County Public Defender Office for almost nine years, and before that an associate attorney with the law firm serving the Bellingham, Ferndale, and Blaine municipal assigned counsel contracts for two years. Rob began his legal career in his own general law private practice in 1996. Rob is a U.S. Army veteran, serving on active duty in the Regular Army from 1987 to 1992, and in the Washington Army National Guard from 1992 to 2000. Rob graduated cum laude from Pacific Lutheran University in 1987 and received his juris doctor degree from Seattle University School of Law in 1995. He is a member of WWU's President's Club and Old Main Society, and is a founding contributor to Fairhaven College's Center for Law, Diversity, and Justice.

Rob has two adult sons and resides in Bellingham with his partner of over 20 years, Dave, of WWU’s Academic Technology and User Services where he manages the Student Technology Center.

Jennifer Sloan, Assistant to Internal Audit and the Assistant Attorney General

Sloan graduated Western Washington University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and began her career as an Office Assistant at the Office of the Attorney General. During her time there, she was promoted to a Legal Assistant where she gained experience in worker’s compensation, licensing and administrative law, and dependency and termination of parental rights cases. Jennifer transferred to WWU from the Office of the Attorney General in May, 2015.

Jennifer enjoys hiking, gardening, and cooking. She and her husband have four children, three cats, and a dog.

Page Updated 09.22.2016