12 Jan 2022

Shanai Harris, Class of 1992

Shanai Harris is a double HBCU graduate. Harris is a proud alumnus of St. Augustine’s University (“SAU”) where she completed her Broadcast Communications degree, Magna Cum Laude in 1992.  Upon graduation, Harris immediately launched her professional journalism career that spanned sixteen years.  Shanai worked as a television news reporter and anchor at WECT-TV in Wilmington, NC, WITN-TV in Greenville, NC, WIS-TV in Columbia, SC, FOX CHARLOTTE in Charlotte, NC, ABC COLUMBIA in Columbia, SC.  During her journalism career, Harris appeared on National Television Programs such as Fox News Channel’s nightly report with Shepard Smith, The Nancy Grace Show on CNN and covered other national stories such as the murder of Michael Jordan’s father; the murder of Carolina Panther Fred Lane and the arrest and trial of Carolina Panther Rae Carruth.  Harris also became a Public Relations professional with the Tom Sawyer Company and previously owned and operated her own news and traffic company that serviced radio and television stations in the Columbia, SC market.  Although her work kept her extremely busy professionally her personal engagements also kept her very busy often hosting events, serving as a motivational speaker and mentor to other young women journalists. But her love for SAU has always been a source of pride.  As Primary News Anchor for ABC COLUMBIA Shanai participated in charitable events that raised thousands of dollars for student scholarships at SAU. 


In 2008, after a successful career as a television news journalist Harris decided to put down the microphone and enter law school at the Historically Black North Carolina Central University.  After completing her first year of study at NCCU School of Law Harris was selected, through a nationwide search, to spend the summer in Chicago, Illinois as part of the American Bar Association’s Minority Judicial Intern Program where she clerked for The Honorable Diane Shelley, Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, Illinois. Shanai’s work as a judicial fellow for Judge Shelley was affirmed on appeal in Sak v. Devoney, 1 NE 3d 123 (Ill App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2010).  Also, while at NCCU School of Law Harris worked on Capitol Hill as a summer Legal Fellow for the Late Congressman Elijah Cummings where her interest in Financial Services began.  Harris worked on statute interpretation and red flagging of amendments to the Dodd Frank Act and investigated the foreclosure of Baltimore, Maryland churches during the 2008 Real Estate Collapse.  Shanai also served as a student litigator in the Civil Law Clinic and practiced Criminal Law under supervised attorneys in her third year as a legal extern at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina where she specialized in financial crimes.


Shanai Harris is currently licensed to practice law in New Jersey and North Carolina.  Harris currently gets to combine her interest in Financial Services and the law as she works in the Financial Crimes Compliance Investigations Unit as a Team Lead supervising investigations of suspected money laundering, terrorist financing, sanctions violations and fraud at Standard Chartered Bank.  Harris a member of the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists Organization, the American Bar Association, New Jersey Bar Association and North Carolina Bar.


Harris is active in the community and serves on the Board of Directors for the Hudson County Latino Foundation (HCLF) where she formerly served as Chairwoman of the Education and Scholarship Committee is currently responsible for Human Resources for HCLF.  Shanai previously served on the Board of Directors for the non-profit Greater Newark Cares Mentoring Movement, an affiliate of Susan Taylor’s National Cares Mentoring Movement.  Harris, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., resides in New Jersey.