Jacqueline A. Simmons, an Indiana University alumna and office leader and partner in the Indianapolis office of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, has been named university vice president and general counsel, effective July 1.
Simmons will succeed Dorothy Frapwell, who retired this month after nearly six years in that role and more than 35 years in the university's legal department. IU's Office of the General Counsel serves the legal needs of all IU campuses out of offices in Bloomington and Indianapolis.
Simmons, a native of South Bend and graduate of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, brings vast legal and business experience to her new role. She joined Faegre Baker Daniels in 2006 and currently serves as co-leader of the firm's international practice area and leads the Indianapolis office. Simmons previously served on the firm's executive committee and chaired the environmental practice.
At Faegre Baker Daniels, Simmons also works closely with a number of universities and for-profit educational institutions on a range of issues, including establishing global alliances, contracts, environmental issues and international employment issues.
Simmons has maintained strong ties to IU throughout her career. She has served on a number of advisory boards at the university and Maurer School. Simmons also has been an adjunct faculty member at the Maurer School for the past 20 years, where she has focused on environmental-related courses.
"Jackie brings a wealth of relevant experience that will benefit Indiana University significantly," said Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie. "Her strong ties to the university, deep international and business experience, as well as her understanding of IU's mission and aspirations, ultimately made her a clear choice among a strong group of candidates.
"I am very much looking forward to Jackie becoming a member of my senior leadership team and to working with her as we continue to chart an ambitious growth path for the university," McRobbie added.
For Simmons, who will become a member of McRobbie's cabinet, the general counsel role at IU provides the unique opportunity to meet a new set of professional challenges while representing her alma mater.
"I am thrilled to be joining an outstanding group of attorneys in the general counsel's office at Indiana University," Simmons said. "And I am looking forward to helping the executive team achieve its goals. This position combines my passion for IU with my legal experience, and it is an exciting opportunity for me personally."
Simmons was selected after a national search that began in December 2011. The search committee, chaired by John Applegate, IU's executive vice president for university regional affairs, planning and policy, received more than 100 applications and nominations for the position.
"Jackie's selection comes after a thorough review of a deep and talented pool of candidates, which is an indication of the appeal that working at a great public university such as IU has for many professionals," Applegate said. "I am confident that Jackie will be a wonderful addition to an already strong administrative leadership group at IU."
Much of Simmons' career has been spent working at Indianapolis-based law firms and businesses. Immediately after her graduation from the Maurer School in 1979, she joined the law firm of Ice Miller Donadio & Ryan, where she worked as a litigation associate for three years.
After two years of environmental-related legal work in Washington, D.C., Simmons returned to Ice Miller, where she practiced environmental law until 1994. She then joined Reilly Industries, an Indianapolis-based chemical company, as general counsel. From 2001 to 2006, Simmons served as vice president and general manager of Pyridine Chemicals, a division of Reilly Industries, before returning to legal practice with Faegre Baker Daniels, where she has been named to The Best Lawyers in America for environmental law.
"With her in-house and firm experience, Jackie will serve IU very well," said Tom Froehle, chief operating partner at Faegre Baker Daniels. "Her value extends far beyond excellent legal skills. She is masterful at understanding both legal and business goals and then finding solutions that achieve both.
"Jackie held various leadership roles inside the firm and was an important part of the firm's leadership team. She was an incredible mentor to others, especially young women lawyers," Froehle continued. "In addition to her professional accomplishments, she cares deeply about and is actively involved in the community. We know she'll be a great addition to IU."
Simmons currently serves on the board of directors for the Julian Center and IU Foundation Women's Philanthropy Council. She also has been involved with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, United Way of Central Indiana, Governor's Trade Mission to China, American Heart Association's Go Red for Women and other organizations.Simmons, who earned her bachelor's degree with honors from the University of Notre Dane, is married to an IU Maurer School of Law alumnus, Tom Schnellenberger. They have three children, all of whom have graduated from IU.