Robert Travis Scott
Robert Travis Scott became President of PAR in January 2011. He has 30 years of experience dealing with public policy issues as a journalist, researcher, commentator, analyst and nonprofit manager. His work has received national and regional recognition through numerous awards for investigative reporting projects, business coverage and writing.
Prior to joining PAR, Mr. Scott was based in Baton Rouge for eight years as Capital Bureau Chief for The Times-Picayune, the New Orleans metropolitan newspaper. He was a contributor of stories and videos to its associated web site, Nola.com. He previously served as Editor of the prize-winning Money section for the Picayune and as a business editor and columnist for The Greenville News in South Carolina. In the 1980s he was an Associate Director and Editor for a bipartisan, nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., dealing with nuclear arms control. He has lived in Italy and Guatemala.
Mr. Scott is an honors graduate of the University of South Carolina’s Department of Government and International Studies, where he was named outstanding senior. He has a certificate in international studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies – Bologna Center in Italy.
Steven Procopio, Ph.D.
Steven Procopio joined the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana after serving as Chief of Staff at the Louisiana Division of Administration where he worked on a number of fiscal and budgeting issues. Prior to working at the Division, Dr. Procopio was the Director of Research and Accountability for former Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu. In that role he was responsible for research on Louisiana’s cultural economy and legislative initiatives.
Dr. Procopio is also the original Director of the Louisiana State University Public Policy Research Lab where he worked on a variety of policy issues for state agencies, nonprofits and academic researchers.
Steven is an Alexandria native with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science from LSU. His doctorate in Political Science is from Indiana University. He has expertise in statistical techniques, mathematical modeling and survey analysis.
Steven is a former university instructor and lecturer who has produced a number of professional papers and publications in academic journals. For his work with the Student Government Association on hurricane response efforts, he earned the 2005-2006 LSU SGA Faculty of the Year Service Award.
Criketa L. Matlock
Research Projects Director
Criketa Matlock joined PAR as the Research Project Director to further develop the growing portfolio of PAR’s policy and research agenda. She is a highly talented and resourceful professional with broad based experience in state, legislative, and federal policy research; as well as in program development and administrative support.
Criketa comes to PAR from the Orleans Public Education Network (OPEN), a New Orleans-based nonprofit, where she served as the Policy and Research Analyst. She brings several years of experience in public policy, external relations and research with other employers such as Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR) as a policy intern and Girl Scouts of the USA Public Policy and Advocacy office in Washington, D.C. Prior positions include: Government Affairs Specialist/Administrative Assistant at Professional Insurance Agents of Louisiana and Site Coordinator of Capitol Middle School (Baton Rouge, LA) at Applied Literacy and Learning, host of the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program.
Criketa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA. She also holds a Master’s of Public Administration in public policy from Louisiana State University (LSU). She is very committed to a career in public interest.
Stacey Emick Howell
Director of Development
Stacey Emick Howell is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and the Director of Development for PAR. Previously, she was a frontline fundraiser and a prospect researcher at the LSU Foundation. Stacey has been in the development profession for more than 18 years, and she spent nine years specializing in independent school fundraising. Prior positions include: Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving, Episcopal School of Baton Rouge; Director of Development, St. Joseph’s Academy; and Assistant VP-Campaign, Capital Area United Way. She has a passion for connecting donors to missions and community impact.
She served the Greater Baton Rouge chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as president in 2003 and CFRE Chair in 2018. Stacey is also serving as president of the newly launched APRA Louisiana, the local chapter of the Association of Professional Researchers in Advancement (APRA), and she serves on the national advocacy committee for APRA. Stacey is a past member of the Planned Giving Council of Greater Baton Rouge and a member of National Charity League.
Stacey earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communication from Louisiana State University.
Julie Mascarella serves as office manager and oversees various programs and projects. She is responsible for organizing PAR’s annual conference and supervises PAR’s standing committees. She also manages PAR’s database of over 3,500 members.
In addition, Ms. Mascarella serves as bookkeeper and publications manager. She maintains records for all project grants as well as PAR’s financial records. She is also responsible for the final layout of all PAR publications.
Ms. Mascarella has over 25 years in various office management roles prior to joining PAR in 2004. Additionally, she worked with several professional associations in administering and coordinating their membership management, administrative and event-planning projects.
Connie McClendon joined the PAR staff in 1993. She serves as Administrative Assistant and is responsible for maintaining PAR’s database, which consists of over 3,500 members throughout the state. In addition, she is responsible for all membership correspondence and billing. Ms. McClendon also assists with PAR’s publication orders and bulk mailings.
Consultant for Healthcare Research
Don Gregory is a native of Louisiana and graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 1973 with B.S. in Management. He was a career employee with over 36 years of service to the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH). He retired from the position of Medicaid Director on June 30, 2012. Previously he was appointed to the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Aging and Adult Services. Prior to this, he served in several positions within Medicaid including among others Deputy Medicaid Director, Director of Field Operations and as the Program Integrity Section Chief for ten years.
In addition to his duties at DHH, Mr. Gregory served for nine years as chairman to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Fraud and Abuse Control Technical Advisory Group (TAG), having been appointed to this position by the National Association of State Medicaid Directors. This TAG exists to advise the Medicaid directors and CMS on matters related to fraud and abuse control.
Mr. Gregory is the past President of the National Association of Program Integrity Officials, now named the National Association for Medicaid Program Integrity (NAMPI). This is a national association of state Medicaid program integrity officials.
He has been married for 40 years to the former Vickie Wyatt. They reside in Baton Rouge and have two grown daughters, Angela and Julie.
Savannah Kirk joined PAR in September 2018 as a policy intern. She is from Madison, Mississippi and is currently working on her B.A. at Louisiana State University in mass communication, concentrating in political communication, with a minor in visual communication. She is an active member of the Ogden Honors College, Zeta Tau Alpha and the Greek Board of Directors at LSU. Savannah is interested in research and finding creative ways to reach and educate the public on public policy and local government.
Erin Fernandez joined PAR in August 2018 as a policy intern. She is currently completing her Masters of Public Administration at LSU. Prior to joining the PAR team Erin worked as a Strategic Planning and Policy intern at the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board in Washington D.C. Erin is a Southeastern Louisiana University graduate with a degree in Political Science. Erin is interested in pursuing a career in policy at the state or federal level.