Sue Anne Gilroy

Sue Anne Gilroy served as Indiana's first female Secretary of State from 1994 to 2003. She also served on the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform.

Gilroy’s early days in public office began by working in Indianapolis Mayor Dick Lugar’s office for four years. She was named director of the Indianapolis Department of Parks and Recreation in 1974. After the birth of two children, Gilroy took a hiatus from public service and started a business consulting for not-for-profits and volunteered for many organizations.

In 1990, Lugar called again, naming Gilroy as his statewide director. An important part of her work was meeting local businesswomen, who often had not been involved in their chambers of commerce or politics. Another avenue to bring women into politics was Lugar’s Excellence in Public Service Series, which Gilroy helped to create. “There weren’t many women running for public office,” she said. “The idea was to recruit women from all over the state to gain leadership skills and seek new levels of involvement.” Today, many Indiana political leaders are graduates of the program.

Sue Ann Gilroy currently serves as vice president of development and executive director of the St. Vincent Foundation.

How as Title IX impacted your industry or career path?

I believe Title IX has played a significant role in diversifying the political landscape. I personally began my own career in government just two years before Title IX became law, so I feel I have been able to “ride the wave” of increased opportunities for women. During the course of my career, I was fortunate to be the 1st female Parks Director for the City of Indianapolis and later the 1st female Secretary of State in Indiana. It stands to reason that the removal of barriers for women to participate in athletics and other programs and activities at educational institutions also helped pave the way for increased opportunities for women in professional careers, even for those who had already completed school before the implementation of Title IX.

What would you like to say to Birch Bayh for authoring this legislation?

You took a progressive stance in the area of gender equality that has helped open many doors for women for 40 years. I also had the privilege of knowing your wonderful wife, Marvella. I am admittedly surmising, but I can’t help but wonder about the influence of such a strong women in your own life during that time, and what words of advice you think she would have for the modern day woman.

What is your favorite quote?

“Four things a woman should know: How to look like a girl, How to act like a lady, How to think like a man, and How to work like a dog.” --author uncertain (has been attributed to several individuals, but I first heard it from my father).