Leila Atassi is the manager of the Public Interest and Advocacy team at cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer and a member of the editorial board. She first joined the staff as an intern in the newspaper’s features department in 2003. Since then, Atassi has covered the courts and criminal justice system, city governments both big and small, poverty and social justice issues. She spent five years covering Cleveland City Hall and was named cleveland.com’s metro columnist in 2019, before becoming her team’s editorial leader. A native of Northeast Ohio, Atassi holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of Wooster and a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.