Chief Administrator Designate, Independent Police Review Authority (2015-)
First Deputy and General Counsel, Chicago Office of the Inspector General (2014-2015)
United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois (2007-2014)
Assistant United States Attorney, Criminal Appeals, Office of Illinois Attorney General (2006-2007)
Clout and Influence
With a thick academic pedigree and nearly a decade’s experience as Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, Sharon Fairley was appointed to take over the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) after Scott Ando’s abrupt exit in the wake of the December 2015 release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video.
Fairley abandoned a senior advertising and marketing job at Pharmacia in New York City after 9/11 to pursue her law degree. She graduated in 2006, and started as an AUSA in March of 2007. During her eight years at the U.S. Attorney’s office, she worked on drug and gang cases, federal criminal national security, financial and government program fraud, immigration, narcotics, and violent crime cases, including the massive crack cocaine conspiracy involving the Gangster Disciples on the city's South Side.
She also holds degrees from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering program, and the University of Chicago’s Law School.
In 2002, Fairley married John Rogers, Jr., the founder of Ariel Capital Management LLC. Two years later, they moved to Chicago. The two are now separated, and their divorce paperwork is sealed. The pair were part of an influential group of African American Princeton alums, including Mellody Hobson, Michelle Obama, and Craig Robinson, who helped fundraise for Barack Obama’s first presidential run in 2008. Ariel Investments manages a number of major city and state pension funds, including Chicago teachers' pension funds, Chicago Transit Authority's pension funds in 2013, and investments for the Illinois State Board of Investments. In an interview on Chicago Tonight in January 2016, Fairley said "We separated years ago and we have very little contact now, so the idea that he has any influence over me whatsoever is just incorrect."
Fairley joined the Chicago Office of the Inspector General as First Deputy and General Counsel in April 2015, where she helped oversee OIG’s hiring oversight section, which reviews city hiring practices. In December 2015, Mayor Emanuel appointed her to serve as the new head of IPRA. At her first press appearance she said "I promise you I bring no agenda other than the pursuit of integrity and transparency in the work that IPRA does." Her appointment is awaiting confirmation from City Council’s Public Safety Committee.
Fairley has also served on the board and is a Distinguished Patron of the Steppenwolf Theater, and serves on the women’s board of the Chicago Art Institute.
- University of Chicago, J.D.
- Princeton University, B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
- University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, M.B.A., Marketing
Important Political Events
- 2002, Married Ariel Capital Management LLC founder John Rogers. Jr.
- 2007, Starts as United States Attorney’s Office for Northern District of Illinois
- 2014, Starts as First Deputy Inspector General, General Counsel, Chicago Office of the Inspector General
- 2015, Appointed head of the Independent Police Review Authority by Mayor Rahm Emanuel