Hugh Forrest serves as Co-President and Chief Programming Officer for South by Southwest (SXSW). In this role, he oversees content for the SXSW Conference, as well as the SXSW Music Festival, the SXSW Film Festival, the SXSW Comedy Festival and SXSW EDU.
Forrest was named "Austinite of the Year" in 2012 by the Austin Chamber of Commerce (along with fellow SXSW Directors Roland Swenson, Louis Black and Nick Barbaro). In 2014, Forrest and these other SXSW Directors were named Austin Entrepreneurs of the Year by Ernst & Young. He was awarded a Key to the City in January 2023 by Austin Mayor Steve Adler.
He received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2018 from Kenyon College, his alma matter. In 2021, he was awarded Diversity Champion of the Year by the Austin Black Business Journal.
In addition to his work at SXSW, Forrest has previously served on of the National Advisory Board for the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. He has also served on the Board of Directors for Austin Habitat for Humanity. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Austin-based accessibility company Knowbility. Via his decades of work with the Austin Reggae Festival, he has helped to raise more than $1 million in funding for the Central Texas Food Bank.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.