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Saturday, February 25, 2017
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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


     02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?
Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue” Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm; Sunday, February 26 at 1pm and Tuesday, February 28 at 10pm after the State of the Union address on LPB HD. In New Orleans on WLAE, Wednesday, February 22 at 7 PM. (Recorded Monday, February 20)

Our panelists will be:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Reverend Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill Church host the program. Robyn Merrick with the Southern University System and Bob Mann with LSU’s Manship School will moderate the discussion.
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Special Presentation


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Coming Soon!


     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?

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     12/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home (Encore Presentation)

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     11/16- Beyond the Flood

What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?

     10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?
»»» View all Topics!
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Saturday, February 25, 2017
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