Sarah Evans Barker was appointed judge of the United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, in March 1984 and served as chief judge between 1994 and 2001. Prior to her appointment, Barker was United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. From 1977 to 1981, she was both an associate and partner at the Indianapolis law firm of Bose McKinney & Evans. She started her Indianapolis legal career as an Assistant United States Attorney after working as a legislative assistant to Senator Charles H. Percy and Congressman Gilbert Gude in Washington, D.C., and special counsel to the Senate Government Operations Subcommittee.
Judge Barker is active in numerous civic, educational, cultural, and religious organizations, including the board of the Indiana Historical Society and the advisory board for the Spirit and Place Civic Festival. She has previously served on boards of trustees for several Indiana academic institutions and the Connor Prairie Museum and on advisory boards of Indiana University and its law schools.
She is a member of the Indiana Academy and a recipient of the Indiana Historical Society’s Living Legends Award and the Indiana Commission for Women’s Trailblazer Award. She is a Distinguished Alumna of Indiana University and has been awarded 10 honorary degrees from Midwestern colleges and universities. She is a member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club of Indianapolis, the Lawyers Club, and the Gathering.
Judge Barker was born in Mishawaka, Indiana, and is a graduate of Indiana University and the American University School of Law. She is an active member of the Morgantown United Methodist Church. She and her husband, attorney Kenneth R. Barker, have three grown children and four grandchildren.