Best-selling author, speaker, advisor, and the former Mayor of the City of New Orleans
When Mitch Landrieu was sworn in as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans, he inherited a city in turmoil. NOLA and its people were still recovering from Hurricane Katrina and were in the midst of the BP Oil Spill. The city was on the brink of bankruptcy, had the highest-in-the-nation murder rate, and a police department under federal investigation.
Under his inspiring leadership, New Orleans is recognized as one of the nation's great comeback stories. The economy is growing and diversifying, in large part due to collaborative efforts Landrieu supported during his time in office. He fast-tracked several projects and secured billions in federal funding for schools, hospitals, parks and recreation, critical infrastructure, and a new airport. He also brought sound fiscal management, balanced budgets, ethical contracting, and transparency to City Hall, leading to the highest credit in the city's history. And, by making public safety a top priority, Landrieu reformed the police department and drove down the city's record number of homicides. Through implementation of NOLA for Life, a cutting-edge murder-reduction strategy, he drove a nearly 20 percent decrease in the city's murder rate.
In 2015, Landrieu was was named "Public Official of the Year" by Governing, and in 2016 was voted "America's top turnaround mayor" in a survey of mayors, compiled by Politico. He gained national prominence for his powerful decision to take down four Confederate monuments in New Orleans, delivering a riveting speech that was lauded by the New York Times' Frank Bruni as "the masterpiece we needed at the moment we needed it." The courage and leadership Landrieu showed in advocating and overseeing the removal of the statues also earned him the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In his New York Times best-selling book, In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History, Landrieu recounts his personal journey confronting racism, and tackles the broader history of slavery, race relations, and institutional inequalities that still plague America.
Growing up in a politically active and socially conscious family, Landrieu's political roots run deep in Louisiana, where he served two terms as lieutenant governor and 16 years in the state legislature. He also served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.