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Two weeks ago, we announced the full program for this year’s Texas Tribune Festival, minus our opening and closing sessions, which are always announced later with great fanfare. Today, I’m excited to tell you about the first of those two bookends to our jampacked annual ideas conference.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, one of the best-known and most-respected members of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet, will formally kick things off on our opening night in conversation with me about the massive federal infrastructure bill passed last year and the ways in which it will impact highways, airports, rail, charging stations, water and broadband, among other things that affect our daily lives in Texas and elsewhere. We’ll also talk about the road ahead for the administration, and Buttigieg’s own road ahead — as the great mentioners peer into a future that assumes he’ll be in the hunt for the White House again at some point.
We’ll take the stage at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22.
Buttigieg has been at TribFest three times before: in 2017 and 2018, as the rising-star mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and in 2019 as a candidate for president in a Democratic primary field of a couple dozen. His return comes fewer than seven weeks from Election Day, when voters will decide control of the U.S. House and Senate — materially affecting the ability of the administration, including Buttigieg’s department, to advance policy initiatives in the next two years.
Our closing session will be announced in the coming weeks. Get your tickets for #TribFest today to see more than 120 hourlong interviews and panel discussions featuring more than 350 speakers — our best Fest yet.