B i o g r a p h y
Shermin Kruse is a partner at the law firm of Barack Ferrazzano, a partner at and advisor to Kruse Asset Management, a TEDx speaker, an accomplished negotiator, facilitator, and mediator, the author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling novel Butterfly Stitching, an Emerging Leader fellow at the Chicago Counsel on Foreign Affairs, a contributor to the Huffington Post, a contributor to Fete Lifestyle Magazine, a director of the ACLU of Illinois, co-founder and director of the peace organization, Pasfarda Arts and Culture Exchange, a director of the international refugee center Heshima Kenya, a member of the Chicago Council for the American Writers Museum, and a mother of four children ages 6 and under. Kruse began writing poetry as a child in Iran where she lived in the midst of a bloody war with neighboring Iraq and under the control of Iran’s post-revolutionary secret police. After a childhood spent dodging rockets and the morality police, her family immigrated with little more than a few suitcases. Post immigration, Kruse rose in the ranks of the professional world, eventually becoming the youngest minority to partner at the top tier Chicago firm of Barack Ferrazzano.
Kruse is recognized as one of her community’s most influential and inspirational women. She has been named as one of the nation’s top 100 “Women to Watch” by BizWomen Magazine, one of Chicago’s most influential women by Chicago Business Journal, and one of Chicago’s Women of Inspiration by Today’s Chicago Magazine.
Kruse is also a frequent speaker on issues relating to negotiation, professional development, international relations, empathy, racial diversity, interfaith dialogue, and the promotion of minorities and women in corporations. For example, she has served as a commentator on NPR’s Worldview on foreign policy issues, was a speaker and workshop facilitator for the Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women, has appeared as a panelist on PBS Chicago WYCC's “In The Loop” discussing various political issues, led a pre-Thanksgiving forum on discussing Trump’s election with family during the holidays, and was a panelist and speaker at the Gene Siskel Film Center's Festival of Films from Iran on international human rights issues. She has served as a correspondent on Huffington Post Live, “World Brief,” and was interviewed by University of Michigan Law School's alumni journal, “Law Quadrangle Notes,” on issues relating to the Syrian refugee crisis. In addition, she has been profiled and interviewed by Today's Leading Women, Chicago Business Magazine, Halfstack Magazine, and appeared on Fox 32 (in honor of Women's Equality Day, segment syndicated in major cities nationwide), WLS 890 AM's “Roe and Roeper,” and the American Jewish Committee, on her book, Butterfly Stitching, international political and human rights issues, and issues facing women in their professional career.
Far from simply sitting on boards, Kruse insists on hands-on service and advocacy, such as traveling to the Turkey-Syria border to interface with Syrian refugee teens and children, cooking in soup kitchens, mentoring at risk youth, and counseling indigent artists about their rights.
Kruse's novel, Butterfly Stitching, was inspired by the true experiences of herself and the women in her family and circle of friends. The book remained in the “Top 10 Rated” and “Top Twenty Best Seller” lists by Amazon in the category of Middle East Literature every day for approximately eight months months.