Robert Leger, the opinions editor of the Arizona Republic newspaper, will be on campus March 24-27 as the spring public affairs writer in residence.
He will have dinner with La Follette School students on Wednesday, March 26.
Leger joined the Republic's editorial staff in 2006 and in 2012 became responsible for the paper's daily editorial pages. He was national president of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2002-03. He spoke often against government attempts to close access to public information, returned SPJ to financial stability and opened an exchange relationship with the Journalists Association of Korea.
Leger is board president of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, a 501(c)(3) supporting SPJ. In 2012, he was honored with the group's Wells Key, the highest award for service to SPJ, named for SPJ's second president, Chester Wells from the University of Wisconsin.
Leger also has served as president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and on the steering committee of OpenTheGovernment.org, a national coalition of open government advocates. He has won numerous state and national awards for his writing, including recognition from the Gannett Co. as the best editorialist and best column writer among its larger papers in 2004.
A native of New Mexico, Leger earned his journalism degree at the University of Missouri. He began his newspaper career in Coffeyville, Kan., then moved to the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. He spent the next 25 years there, half that time as editorial page editor, before going to the Valley of the Sun.