Sheila Suess Kennedy is Emerita Professor of Law and Public Policy at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Until her retirement in December of 2020, she was a Faculty Fellow with both the Center for Religion and American Culture and the Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence, an adjunct professor of political science and founder of the Center for Civic Literacy at IUPUI.
Professor Kennedy holds a B.S. from Indiana University, andreceived her J.D. with honors from I.U. in 1975, where she was managing editor of the Indiana Law Review. She practiced real estate, administrative and business law in Indianapolis, first at Baker & Daniels and later as a partner with Mears, Crawford, Kennedy & Eichholz, and served as Corporation Counsel for the City of Indianapolis from 1977-1980. In 1980, she was the Republican candidate for Indiana’s then 11th Congressional District seat. Professor Kennedy was president of Kennedy Development Services from 1987-1992, when she became Executive Director of the Indiana Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union. She joined the faculty of the School of Public and Environmental affairs in 1998.
Ms. Kennedy is the author of nine books, What’s a Nice Republican Girl Like Me Doing at the ACLU?(Prometheus Books); Free Expression in America: A Documentary History (Greenwood Publishing); Pickin’ Fights With Thunderstorms: A Love Story (Kern) ; Charitable Choice at Work: Faith-Based Jobs Programs in the States (with Wolfgang Bielefield)(Georgetown University Press), God and Country: America in Red and Blue (Baylor University Press); Distrust, American Style: Diversity and the Crisis of Public Confidence (Prometheus Books), American Public Service: Constitutional and Ethical Foundations (with David Schultz), Talking Politics: What You Need to Know Before You Open Your Mouth (Georgetown University Press) and Living Together: Mending a Fractured America (Amazon). She was also the co-editor of To Market, To Market: Reinventing Indianapolis, an analysis of Indianapolis’ privatization experience under former Mayor Stephen Goldsmith (University Press of America).
In addition to her books, Professor Kennedy has published numerous book chapters and articles in scholarly journals and law reviews. She has been a columnist for the Indianapolis Star, inequality.org/andThe Indiana Word, and she continues to write regular columns for the Indianapolis Business Journal. Professor Kennedy blogs daily at www.sheilakennedy.net, and is a frequent contributor to other blogs and periodicals.
Sheila and her husband Bob have five grown children and four perfect grandchildren.