David J. Bodenhamer, executive director of The Polis Center, is responsible for establishing the center’s mission and goals and for securing the necessary human and financial resources to accomplish them. During his tenure, the center has developed over 500 projects and a wide array of partnerships, with grant and contract funding of over $55 million. In addition, Polis has expanded its programmatic focus from Indianapolis and Central Indiana to state, regional, national, and international partnerships and projects. Before joining IUPUI in 1989, Bodenhamer was an administrator at the University of Southern Mississippi and represented the university before numerous state, regional, and national groups.
An active researcher and professor of history, Bodenhamer is author or editor of eight books, including The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis and The Main Stem: the History and Architecture of North Meridian Street, and has published almost 30 journal articles and chapters in books. He has three other books under contract and in progress. He has made over 65 presentations to audiences on four continents topics ranging from legal and constitutional history to the use of GIS and advanced information technologies in academic and community-based research. He also has served as strategic and organizational consultant to universities, government agencies, and not-for-profit and faith-based organizations across the U.S. and in Europe.