Shermin Kruse is a partner at the law firm of Barack Ferrazzano. She is also a TEDx speaker; an accomplished negotiator, facilitator, and mediator; the author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling novel Butterfly Stitching; a contributor to the Huffington Post and Fete Lifestyle magazine; a director of the ACLU of Illinois; cofounder and director of the peace organization, Pasfarda Arts and Culture Exchange; a director of the international refugee center Heshima Kenya; and a mother of four. Kruse, who spent her childhood in Iran dodging rockets and the morality police, immigrated with her family carrying little more than a few suitcases. Kruse graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. In addition to her fiction writing and journalism, Kruse is a frequent speaker and writer on issues relating to human rights, racial diversity, cross-cultural dialogue and negotiation, and women in leadership. Kruse’s commitment to equal rights, professional development, and peace-dialogue is international. From traveling to the Turkey-Syria border to interface with Syrian refugee children to serving as a commentator on NPR’s Worldview on foreign policy issues, Kruse is globally dedicated to raising awareness. Kruse was named one of the nation’s “Top 100 Women to Watch” by BizWomen, one of Chicago’s most influential women by Chicago Business Journal, and one of Chicago’s “Women of Inspiration” by Today’s Chicago Woman.