2021: Mary Harriman Award Recipient



The Junior League of Indianapolis

Susan Brooks joined the Junior League of Indianapolis in 1992 and has become an accomplished leader with a long history of tackling difficult issues, as a volunteer and public servant. She has served as a strategic advisor to companies, nonprofits, educational institutions, and hospitals during organizational change. She often shares with Junior League of Indianapolis members her incredible journey and encourages them to take advantage of the leadership and networking opportunities the League provides.

It was a Junior League of Indianapolis connection that eventually led to her first foray into public service as deputy mayor of Indianapolis in 1998. Thus began her passion for public service. Ms. Brooks was appointed in 2001 as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana by President George W. Bush 5 days after 9/11. In this role, she implemented the first part-time work policy to better support women and working moms. She continued to advocate for women, promoting and elevating women to leadership positions at every stage of her career.

When she decided to run for Congress, Ms. Brooks enlisted the women she knew through Junior League of Indianapolis to staff her campaign as volunteers because they would bring the same passion and dedication they exhibited in the Junior League to her campaign. In 2012, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Indiana’s 5th District. This circle of women, many who are fellow Junior League of Indianapolis members admired and believed in her and worked tirelessly to ensure her victory in a primary race against six men. They knew more female representation and voices at the table were needed in Congress, too. During her term in Congress, she was eventually appointed recruitment chairwoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, where she recruited record numbers of women and other diverse congressional candidates.

Read the full press release.