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Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg ( /ˈbuːtɪdʒɛdʒ/; born January 19, 1982) is an American politician, serving since 2012 as the 32nd Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Prior to public service, he worked as a consultant at McKinsey and Company, a management strategy consulting firm, from 2007 through 2010. A member of the Democratic Party, Buttigieg is a graduate of Harvard University, a Rhodes Scholar, and a veteran of the War in Afghanistan. He is the first openly gay Democratic candidate ever to run for President of the United States and is competing for the party's nomination in the 2020 election. If elected, he would be the first openly gay president as well as the youngest elected at age 38, and the youngest serving at age 39.
|32nd Mayor of South Bend|
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2012
|Preceded by||Steve Luecke|
Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg
(1982-01-19) January 19, 1982 (age 37)
South Bend, Indiana, U.S.
Chasten Glezman (m. 2018)
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
Pembroke College, Oxford (MA)
|Battles/wars||War in Afghanistan|
Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg ( //; born January 19, 1982) is an American politician, serving since 2012 as the 32nd Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Prior to public service, he worked as a consultant at McKinsey and Company, a management strategy consulting firm, from 2007 through 2010. A member of the Democratic Party, Buttigieg is a graduate of Harvard University, a Rhodes Scholar, and a veteran of the War in Afghanistan. He is the first openly gay Democratic candidate ever to run for President of the United States and is competing for the party's nomination in the 2020 election. If elected, he would be the first openly gay president as well as the youngest elected at age 38, and the youngest serving at age 39.
Buttigieg was born in South Bend, Indiana, to Joseph Buttigieg and Jennifer Anne Montgomery, both professors at the University of Notre Dame. His father was a Maltese immigrant, and his mother is a many-generations Hoosier.
Buttigieg graduated from St. Joseph High School in 2000, where he was president and valedictorian of his senior class. In his senior year at high school, he was honored by Caroline Kennedy and other members of President Kennedy's family during a May 22, 2000, ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston for his prize-winning essay for the JFK Profiles in Courage Essay Contest. Buttigieg’s winning essay centered on the integrity and political courage demonstrated by then-U.S. Congressman Bernie Sanders of Vermont, one of only two Independent members of Congress. He was also selected as one of two Indiana delegates to the United States Senate Youth Program.
He attended Harvard College, where he was president of the Harvard Institute of Politics Student Advisory Committee and worked on the Institute's annual study of youth attitudes on politics. Buttigieg was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Buttigieg graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 2004, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in history and literature and writing his thesis on the influence of puritanism on U.S. foreign policy as reflected in the Graham Greene novel The Quiet American. He received a first class honors degree in philosophy, politics and economics in 2007 from Pembroke College, Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Before graduating from college Buttigieg worked as an investigative intern at WMAQ-TV, Chicago's NBC news affiliate. Buttigieg also worked as an intern for Jill Long Thompson's 2002 congressional campaign, and later served as an adviser to her 2008 gubernatorial campaign.
From 2004-05, he worked in Washington, D.C., as conference director for former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen's international strategic consulting firm, The Cohen Group. He also spent several months working on Senator John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, where he was a policy and research specialist. After graduating from Oxford, he worked as a consultant at McKinsey and Company from 2007 through 2010.
Buttigieg was commissioned as a Naval intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve in 2009, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2014. After a seven-month deployment, Buttigieg returned to South Bend. He remains a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve.
In 2012, Buttigieg demoted the first African American police chief of South Bend, Darryl Boykins, and fired the police communications director, following the revelation of recorded telephone conversations between four white South Bend police officers and the spouse of an officer. The recordings were alleged to contain "racist content". Buttigieg opted to settle suits brought by Boykins, the communications director, and the four officers out of court.
He was named mayor of the year for 2013 by GovFresh.com, tying with former three-term New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. In 2014, The Washington Post called Buttigieg "the most interesting mayor you've never heard of", citing his age, education, and military background. In 2016, The New York Times published an op-ed praising Buttigieg's work as mayor and boldly asking in the headline if he could eventually be elected as "the first gay president."
Buttigieg has made redevelopment a top priority of his administration. One of its signature programs has been the "Vacant and Abandoned Properties Initiative", known locally as "1,000 Properties in 1,000 Days", a project to repair or demolish targeted properties across the city. The goal was reached by the program's scheduled end date in November 2015.
Buttigieg served for seven months in Afghanistan as a lieutenant in the Navy Reserves, returning to the United States on September 23, 2014. In his absence, Deputy Mayor Mark Neal, South Bend's city controller, served in the role of executive, from February 2014 until Buttigieg returned to his role as mayor in October 2014.
In 2014, Buttigieg announced that he would seek a second term and went on to win the Democratic Party primary with 78% of the vote. On November 3, 2015, he was elected to his second term as mayor of South Bend with over 80% of the vote.
On June 16, 2017, the Mayor's "Smart Streets" construction project concluded. The multi-year, $25 million initiative converted many downtown one-way streets to two-way use, and added pedestrian- and bike-friendly amenities.
On January 5, 2017, Buttigieg announced his candidacy for Chair of the Democratic National Committee in its 2017 chairmanship election. He "built a national profile as an emerging dark horse in the race for the chairmanship with the backing of former DNC Chairman Howard Dean." Buttigieg "campaigned on the idea that the aging Democratic Party needed to empower its millennial members." He withdrew from the race on the day of the election, in his nomination speech.
Buttigieg was named a 2014 Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow. He was named a recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Fenn Award in 2015.
On June 16, 2015, Buttigieg announced in an essay that he is gay. He is the first openly gay municipal executive in Indiana. On December 28, 2017, Buttigieg announced his engagement to Chasten Glezman. On June 16, 2018, they were married in a private ceremony at the Cathedral of St. James' Episcopal Church in downtown South Bend. He is a member of The Episcopal Church. His father Joseph passed away on January 27, 2019.