Marsha Ternus will retire as director of The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement after guiding the institute through three highly successful formative years.

Ternus, a 1977 Drake Law School alumna and former chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, was appointed to the part-time directorship on Aug. 1, 2013, shortly after Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin and Drake University partnered to create the institute.

When Ternus retires on June 1, she will have overseen more than $7.6 million in philanthropic contributions to the institute and helped to forge its nonpartisan mission to inform citizens, inspire creative cooperation, and catalyze change on issues of social justice, fairness and opportunity.

"Under the leadership of Marsha Ternus, the Harkin Institute has found a physical home at Drake University, developed a clear and compelling mission, and initiated an engaging slate of public programming," said Marty Martin, president of Drake University. "The rewards of her efforts are already reflected in the numerous student learning and community engagement opportunities that the institute has provided under her leadership."

Following her time as director, Ternus will continue to serve the Harkin Institute as chair of its National Advisory Council. She will continue to practice law in Des Moines, with a focus on appellate and trial case consulting and arbitration.