Ben Speggen joined The Jefferson Educational Society in February 2015 as its Program Developer, curating the think tank’s educational programming. In November 2015, he was named the think tank’s Program Director. He writes press releases and edits The Jefferson’s publications, ranging from essays to biographies and beyond. He also serves as the director for the think tank’s Leadership Academy, which develops civic engagement in Erie’s young, emerging leaders. Having served as the Erie Reader’s Managing Editor since its inception in 2011 to September 2015, he transitioned to the role of Contributing Editor and authors a recurring column amongst other things. Since June 2014, he has served as producer and host of WQLN’s community affairs-based program Weekend All Things Erie. He received his master’s in English from Gannon University, where he also received his bachelor’s degree in English with minors in history and journalism. He currently serves on the boards for L’Arche Erie and the Erie County Poet Laureate Initiative and previously served on the board for the Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the Erie chapter of the Torch Club.