Since the Year of Action on Diversity, the social and political landscape of the United States has changed significantly. Finding ways to bridge divides is more important now than ever. In 2015, the very conservative Salt Lake City elected its second female, and first openly gay, mayor. Mayor Jackie Biskupski brought a vision for the future that built on the best of the city's culture as a community that values the environment, mutual support, and high quality of life. She also brought her understanding of how important vibrant small and large business activity is for a thriving community. Seeing environmental, economic, and social justice benefits for her city, she has made improving air quality and combating climate change keystones of her administration. She is leading her city to run on 100 percent clean energy by 2032 and to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2040. She has increased the number of shelters for the homeless in Salt Lake City and pushed for more transparency in policies related to police body cameras, improving life quality for all citizens. Biskupski will share her vision for how social justice and economic development can work together to build an inclusive future and the vital role of engineers in that future.
Jackie Biskupski took office as Salt Lake City mayor on January 4, 2016. Her political career also includes 13 years as a member of the Utah House of Representatives from 1998 to 2011, where she made history as the state’s first openly gay elected official.
The Mayor’s top priorities include economic development, homelessness, air quality, affordable housing, and creating an inclusive and welcoming city. She is focused on building a city that fosters equity, opportunity, and hope for everyone.
She has worked throughout her career to mentor others--particularly young women--in politics, public policy, and leadership. She supports women from all political backgrounds in seeking elected office and positions on boards and commissions.
A Minnesota native, the Mayor earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Arizona State University. She came to Salt Lake City 26 years ago for a ski trip, fell in love with the outdoors and the people, and never left. She shares her life with her wife Betty Iverson and their two sons, Archie and Jack.