Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the chief executive of the City of South Bend. The city’s thirty-second mayor, he was sworn into office on January 1, 2012. As mayor, Buttigieg is responsible for the city workforce of over 1,000 employees and an annual budget over $380 million.
During his first term, Buttigieg introduced the 1000 in 1000 Days initiative, which demolished or repaired abandoned homes throughout South Bend. During his second term he constructed safer, more appealing “Smart Streets” as part of downtown placemaking, and in 2017 announced the largest investment to parks and trails in the city’s history. Buttigieg has improved transparency through an open data portal, increased performance through data-based decision-making, and empowered local businesses through community investment.
A Rhodes Scholar, Buttigieg studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford and holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Literature from Harvard. Buttigieg was born in South Bend and grew up in the Northwest Side and North Shore Triangle neighborhoods. He attended St. Joseph High School in South Bend.
Buttigieg is past President of the Indiana Urban Mayors Caucus and the Northern Indiana Mayors Roundtable, and serves on the boards of the Truman National Security Project and the United States Conference of Mayors. In 2015 he received the New Frontier Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Harvard University Institute of Politics, and in 2016 he won the U.S. Department of Transportation Mayors’ Challenge Pedestrian and Bicycle Awards for the City’s work on Smart Streets.
Elected at the age of 29, Buttigieg has been profiled by the New York Times and was called “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of” by the Washington Post. An officer in U.S. Navy Reserve from 2009-17, Buttigieg took a leave of absence to serve in Afghanistan during a seven-month deployment in 2014, earning the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his counterterrorism work.
An active musician, Buttigieg plays piano and guitar, and has performed with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. He lives in the same neighborhood where he grew up and is restoring a formerly vacant home there.