Assistant U.S. Attorney Hank Shea to join faculty of University of St. Thomas School of Law

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hank Shea to join faculty of University of St. Thomas School of Law

Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry (“Hank”) Shea will join the University of St. Thomas School of Law faculty this fall. He has accepted two appointments: as distinguished senior fellow on the faculty and as a fellow of the newly established Thomas E. Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions.

Shea will create a new course, Ethical Leadership in Litigation, and assist the center in realizing its mission: to provide interdisciplinary research, curriculum development and programs for students and professionals who aspire to “servant leadership” in their communities. As part of that effort, Shea will engage in a unique collaboration with white-collar offenders, many of whom he prosecuted, to compile and publish articles and a possible book about why they committed their crimes, and the consequences and lessons they learned from their misconduct.

A frequent speaker on business and legal ethics and white collar crime, in 2004-05 Shea was an executive fellow for the St. Thomas College of Business’ Center for Ethical Business Cultures, where he organized programs on those topics in collaboration with the university’s law school.

Dr. Christopher Puto, dean of the St. Thomas College of Business, lauded Shea’s recent work on the “front line of business ethics.” Puto said, “The Twin Cities business community will benefit from his … ability to translate punitive insights into preventative lessons.”

“Hank Shea has been an ethical leader in our business and legal community for many years,” said School of Law Dean Thomas Mengler. “He is joining the St. Thomas School of Law to focus his energy on the education of the next generation of servant leaders. We are honored to have him here. We are also grateful that, as he did at the Center for Ethical Business Cultures, Hank will serve in his new UST roles without pay.”

Shea has a reputation as one of the country’s most effective white-collar crime prosecutors. He served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota for almost 18 years. During his tenure, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collected $45 million in restitution, fines and forfeitures from crimes that Shea prosecuted. He was awarded a U.S. Department of Justice Commendation (Environmental Division) in 2003, a U.S. Department of Justice Director’s Award in 2002 and 2000, a U.S. Chief Postal Inspector’s Special Award in 2000, and U.S. Department of Justice Special Achievement Awards in 1991, 1990 and 1989. Between 1994 and 1998, Shea served as chief of his office’s Economic Crime Section.

Former U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug, now of the Minneapolis law firm Fredrikson & Byron, called Shea “one of the premier white-collar prosecutors in the nation. He is a true public servant, deeply committed to ethics in the legal profession and business community. There can be no better person to shape this initiative on servant leadership.”

Prior to rejoining the Department of Justice in 1994, Shea worked for the Leonard, Street and Deinard firm in Minneapolis for two years. He also served as special assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., in 1985. He served a four-year military commitment as assistant to the general counsel in the U.S. Department of the Army from 1981 to 1985, and continued to serve as an Army Reserve officer on the Judge Advocate General Corps from 1985 to 1992.

Shea earned a bachelor of science in foreign service, summa cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1978, and received his juris doctorate, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1981.

Active in his community, he recently completed four years on the board of Benilde-St. Margaret’s School, which he chaired in 2004-05. He previously served for three years as board chair of the St. Louis Park Emergency Program, a nonprofit food shelf, during three of his 11 years of board service to that organization from 1987 to 1998.

Shea is married to Chris Shea, senior vice president for external relations at General Mills Inc. and president of the General Mills Foundation. They have four children.