SXSW Reveals Its Biggest Speaker Lineup Ever: Barack and Michelle Obama

For the first White House to fully embrace new media, it's apropos

The president and first lady will make history in Texas this month. Getty Images

President Barack Obama has accomplished a lot of "firsts" when it comes to commanders in chief and digital media. The president created social accounts on Twitter and Facebook, participated in a Reddit AMA, and appeared on the online comedy website Funny or Die to push his healthcare agenda. 

So it makes sense that No. 44 will be the first president to speak at South by Southwest Interactive. The festival announced today he will appear on March 11, opening day for the Austin, Texas, show. Obama will sit down with Evan Smith, CEO and editor in chief of The Texas Tribune.

SXSW said today in a press release that they'll have "a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives. The President will call on the audience to apply their ideas and talents to make technology work for us—especially when it comes to tackling big challenges like increasing participation in the political process and fighting climate change."

What's more, First Lady Michelle Obama will attend the music part of the festival on March 16, addressing Let Girls Learn, her initiative that aims to overcome obstacles for 62 million girls worldwide who are not in school today.

The locations and exact times for each of their appearances is expected to be released in the coming days. 

"As each new generation comes up at SXSW, they look for ways they can be of service, and it's important to reflect and support that message. President and Mrs. Obama's visit here will inspire attendees to that purpose," Roland Swenson, the festival's co-founder, said in a statement. 

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