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Thursday, August 25, 2016
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Panelist Bio


Robert Travis Scott
President, Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana • Moderator, Louisiana Public Square

Veteran news reporter Robert Travis Scott has been named president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR), replacing Jim Brandt who recently announced his retirement. Scott will begin his work at PAR on Dec. 1, 2010.

Scott has served the citizens of the state for the past 14 years by providing breaking news and in-depth coverage of political and economic developments in Louisiana. As capital bureau chief at The Times-Picayune and previously as business editor, he has extensive experience communicating effectively with government and business leaders. He brings to PAR a rich background in communications, policy analysis and nonprofit management supported by a passion for making Louisiana a better place to live and prosper.

His previous experience also includes serving as business editor at The Greenville News in Greenville, S.C., and associate director and editor of the Arms Control Association, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that is an authority on nuclear arms negotiations. Scott attended the University of South Carolina where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in international studies in 1979. He also engaged in graduate studies in international security and economics at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Scott has received regional and national recognition for in-depth news coverage, investigative reporting projects and writing. He also is a former president of the Baton Rouge Press Club.

“Considering Robert’s many years of experience dealing with public policy issues as a journalist in this state, he is ideally suited to lead the charge and push Louisiana policy forward with the development of evidence-based policy solutions to the state’s most pressing problems,” said Dr. Jim Richardson, who headed PAR’s presidential search committee.

“The PAR board is proud to name Robert as the eighth president of PAR,” said PAR Board of Directors Chairman Donna Saurage. “With his proven leadership skills and solid reputation as an objective authority on state policy, we are certain that he will carry the organization through to a strong future.”

The Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) is a private, nonprofit, non-partisan public policy research organization focused on pointing the way toward a more efficient, effective, transparent and accountable Louisiana government. PAR was founded in 1950 and is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations. PAR has never accepted state government funds.

Current Topic


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?

Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.

“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.

The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center

The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016
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