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Obama to headline Utah tech conference in March



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SALT LAKE CITY —Former President Barack Obama is coming to Salt Lake City in March to headline a local tech conference.

The former leader of the free world will keynote at Qualtrics’ annual user summit just a year after his wife, Michelle Obama, headlined at the inaugural conference for local tech company Pluralsight.

Qualtrics is known to draw extremely high-profile guests for its conferences and will welcome Oprah this year. Last year, conference attendees met Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda, basketball legend Magic Johnson and skateboarding icon Tony Hawk.

Utah’s tech scene has welcomed several big names already this year, including activist Malala Yousafzai, during Pluralsight’s annual conference, and former NBA coach Phil Jackson at Domo’s.

Obama, however, may be the biggest name yet. The 44th president of the U.S. was the first African American to be elected to the presidency.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama graduated from Harvard Law School and worked as an attorney and professor for several years while serving in the Illinois Senate. He received national attention in 2004 when he won a seat on the U.S. Senate in a landslide victory.

In 2008, he won a close race for the Democratic presidential nomination against Hillary Clinton and ultimately trounced Republican John McCain to become president. He won a second term in office in 2012 after defeating Mitt Romney, who was recently elected to represent Utah in the U.S. Senate.

Obama passed several controversial and landmark bills during his time in the presidency, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often known as Obamacare.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 — the year he was inaugurated.

Obama’s visit will come just months after Qualtrics announced that the company will be acquired by German multinational software company SAP for $8 billion. It is the second-largest acquisition of a private tech company in history.

Qualtrics’ conference will be held March 5-8. The early-bird price for attendees is $999, though returning conference goers can usually get a discount.

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