Pete Buttigieg, South Bend mayor, to speak at Northeastern about how millennials are changing politics

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, during a stop in Raymond, N.H., Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In the Rust Belt city where he’s served as a two-term mayor, Pete Buttigieg launched a campaign to demolish or repair 1,000 abandoned homes in as many days.

Through new construction and public art installations, he’s helped revitalize South Bend’s city center. And he’s also brought life back to the Studebaker auto assembly, renovating the city’s defunct plant into a mix of office, commercial, residential and storage space.

Now, with his second term coming to an end at 227 W. Jefferson Blvd., Buttigieg is exploring a run at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. In January, he announced that he was forming an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential bid.

On Wednesday, he’ll be at Northeastern’s Boston campus to discuss the influence of millennials in American politics, with WBUR senior news correspondent Kimberly Atkins. Millennial voters could account for about a third of all primary voters in 2020, according to analytics website FiveThirtyEight.

The talk will be live-streamed on Northeastern’s Facebook page, and overflow viewing will be available in the Curry Student Center Indoor Quad.

Buttigieg, who pronounces his name “boot-edge-edge” or “buddha-judge” (take your pick), but goes by “Mayor Pete,” is being hailed as a wunderkind mayor. Running in a field packed with senior citizens, the 37-year-old wants to become the first member of the millennial generation to become president. If elected, he would also be the country’s first openly gay president.

Buttigieg is a former Naval intelligence officer who was elected at age 29 in 2011 and re-elected in 2015. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and a master’s from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

He runs half-marathons and attends Sunday services at an Episcopalian church in downtown South Bend. Prior to becoming a public servant, he worked as a consultant at management strategy consulting firm McKinsey and Company.

Buttigieg will speak at Northeastern on April 3, at 4 p.m. in Ell Hall at Northeastern’s Blackman Auditorium, 342 Huntington Ave.

The program marks the third installment of Northeastern’s new series, “The Civic Experience,” profiling the generation of cutting-edge leaders who are shaping media, politics, and policy.

For media inquiries, please contact