Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Paul Soglin

Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Affairs

Paul Soglin

Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin - Madison
1225 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1211

Paul Soglin is a former mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, most recently from 2011 to 2019. First elected in 1973 after five years on the Common Council, he left public office in 1979 to spend a decade in private law practice. He was re-elected mayor in 1989, defeating a two-term incumbent. He was elected again in 1991 and 1995.

An innovator in government management and administration, Soglin has lectured on his experiences in total quality management as well as the city’s strategic planning and management systems, its innovations in customer service, its Neighborhood Resource Teams, and other initiatives.

Soglin was awarded a fellowship by the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in 1979. He received his bachelor’s degree in history and his law degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

As mayor, Soglin was responsible for the construction of the State Street Mall and Capital Concourse. He also began the city’s childcare program, the first of its kind in the nation, providing center certification and technical assistance. During his tenure, Madison was recognized repeatedly as an exceptional community, most notably when Money magazine rated Madison the nation’s #1 livable city in 1996 and again a year after he left office in 1998.


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