W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership at USD to bestow Legacy of Public Leadership Award to Jim Soyer

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership and Students of Public Administration from The University of South Dakota announce that Jim Soyer, director of legislative affairs and special projects for the Governor’s Office, is the 2008 Legacy of Public Leadership Public Employee Award recipient.

Nominated by Gov. Mike Rounds, Soyer has served as a teacher, congressional field representative, press secretary, chief of staff, special projects coordinator and legislative director for a variety of state leaders. His diligent work as a state employee helped bring Citibank to South Dakota, pass legislation needed to secure the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory at Homestake, decrease property taxes, create more scholarship opportunities for South Dakota students and start the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children and Amber Alert system.

"Jim has an amazing ability to gather, organize, analyze, and boil down accurate, relevant information to its essentials so that public officials can make the most well-informed and best decisions possible," stated Rounds. "Jim’s analysis and advice on public policy issues has been invaluable to me as I’ve served as governor."

Soyer will be presented with the award during the Masters of Public Administration Pre-Commencement luncheon, Friday, May 9 at 11 a.m., in the Al Neuharth Media Center on the USD campus. Prior to serving in Rounds’ administration, he was press secretary and chief of staff for Gov. William J. Janklow, special assistant to Gov. George S. Mickelson, assistant director and public relations/promotions coordinator for the South Dakota Centennial Office, press secretary for Wisconsin Gov. Tommy G. Thompson, and public information officer for the South Dakota Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. Soyer was also as an English teacher in the communities of Watertown, S.D., and Pierre, S.D., as well as a field representative for Congressman Larry Pressler.

Presented on behalf of the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership and Students of Public Administration since 2004, the Legacy of Leadership Public Employee Award recognizes an outstanding federal, state or local government employee who works in South Dakota and who has illustrated exemplary leadership skills for the betterment of government or civic engagement.