We submitted a SXSW panel idea for the tech portion of the festival next year. In the next few days, we’re going to highlight the amazing speakers who will join us to discuss the future of quantified cities and how tech can best improve urban environments. First off is Catherine Cuellar, a Dallasite who deals with cutting edge technology while running one of the country’s most innovative arts districts. Voting closes on September 5th—so go on and vote for our panel!
Catherine Cuellar serves as CEO of the Dallas Arts District, the largest contiguous urban cultural neighborhood in the US and world headquarters of the Global Cultural Districts Network. She spent two decades as an award-winning multimedia journalist for national public radio stations and programs, Sojourners magazine and The Dallas Morning News among others. Ms. Cuellar also managed communications for five years at the sixth-largest electric power grid in the US, Oncor.
Cuellar serves on the board of the Rhodes College Alumni Association. She debuted as an author in the Dallas Noir short fiction anthology published in 2013 by Akashic Books. She is a 2014 Next Generation Project Texas Fellow at The Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT-Austin. Cuellar was recognized among the Dallas Business Journal’s 2013 “40 Under 40,” was a 2011 White House Fellows regional finalist, and in 2007 was among the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce’s Five Outstanding Young Dallasites.
Catherine is the leader of one of the largest, most innovative cultural districts in the world at the forefront of the smart cities movement. Her excitement and passion about quantifying the district ensures that her hand is on the pulse of this emerging trend in the space. Her curiosity and deep background in community engagement and sustainability makes her the perfect moderator for this panel about the future of smart cities.
An advocate for education, sustainability, non-profits and art and culture, Catherine brings her creativity to everything she does. She is a third generation Dallas native but has had her passport stamped on five continents. Her grandparents were entrepreneurs who lived the American dream, starting Mexican restaurants in Dallas and growing their business to become the largest Latino franchisers in the U.S.
Catherine is a lifetime member of NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected & appointed Officials), a member of the Hispanic 100, and a graduate of Leadership Women. She also has a deep passion in music and has sung at Carnegie Hall as a chorister-in-residence with composer Morten Lauridsen and conductor Timothy Sharp. In addition—and very true to this panel’s nature—Catherine leads a radically pedestrian lifestyle in her hometown, walking, biking, and riding mass transit more than she drives an all-electric plug-in car.