Hugh Forrest serves as the Director of the annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Scheduled March 13-17, 2015 in Austin, this event brings together more than 30,000 digital creatives from across the United States and around the world. These digital creatives are inspired by five days of panels, presentations, brainstorming, networking, deal-making, socializing, creating, innovating, and fun. Forrest was named "Austinite of the Year" in February 2012 by the Austin Chamber of Commerce (along with fellow SXSW Directors Roland Swenson, Louis Black and Nick Barbaro). In addition to his work at SXSW, he is part of the National Advisory Board for the Poynter Institute in St. Petersberg, Florida.
Forrest majored in English at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Before joining the SXSW team, he founded a small alternative publication called The Austin Challenger and wrote for several other newspapers.