Mayor Buddy Dyer Biography
Having served as Mayor since 2003, Buddy Dyer has worked tirelessly to shape Orlando into a vibrant, future-ready community where unity and partnership are the keys to helping every city resident thrive. Since his first day in office, Mayor Dyer has increased collaboration between Central Florida’s many governments, its business and civic communities and residents.
Under his leadership, Mayor Dyer has helped Orlando respond to challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Dyer played a key role in Central Florida’s response and efforts to protect the health and well-being of residents while supporting those in need and safely keeping the region’s economy moving forward.
Mayor Dyer has made it a top priority to ensure that all residents are treated equally, are equally protected and have equitable access to opportunity. Recent actions and investments to end systemic racism and make Orlando an even more inclusive community include hiring the city’s first Equity Official and expanding successful youth programs like the Parramore Kidz Zone and My Brother’s Keeper Orlando so academic support, mentoring and career training can be offered to more young residents. As part of this effort and to increase police transparency and law enforcement accountability, the Orlando Police Department’s use of force policies were updated and a Community Response Team with trained mental health professionals was launched to respond to some non-violent 911 calls instead of law enforcement officers.
Mayor Dyer is leading the efforts to diversify Central Florida’s economy and create a new breed of high-wage careers in cutting-edge industries such as life sciences and biotechnology, where a hub has been created at Medical City in Lake Nona and in downtown’s newest Innovation District, Creative Village - a 68-acre site that is a hub for technology and innovation with the new UCF Downtown, Valencia College Downtown campus and the new regional headquarters for Electronic Arts.
Orlando has also become one of the best places nationally to start a business with a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. The city’s Orlando Main Streets program is helping small businesses succeed, while offering residents unique goods, services and experiences.
Recent accomplishments also include new community venues – the Amway Center, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Exploria Stadium - and the renovation of Camping World Stadium. The venues have brought world-class entertainment and sporting events to the city, and even more visitors to the region.
Mayor Dyer’s commitment to public safety is reflected in the Orlando Fire Department’s status as one of the elite departments in the entire country. At the same time, the Orlando Police Department is increasing its community policing efforts to further reduce crime and help residents build bonds with officers.
Mayor Dyer is also a leading voice for Orlando, and all of Central Florida, to address housing and homelessness challenges. The City of Orlando is using partnership to advance the shared priority that every resident has a safe place to sleep and their basic needs of clothing, food and hygiene are met. Mayor Dyer is also ensuring that the City of Orlando continues to address the need for safe, affordable housing for residents by making investments and creating partnerships to bring new and rehabilitated apartments and homes to the city.
Recognizing the need for more transit options, Mayor Dyer is an advocate for the expansion of mobility options. Advances under his leadership include SunRail, Central Florida’s first commuter rail system that launched in 2014, and an increase to the city’s bike trail network. He has also made sustainability a priority for the City of Orlando to ensure that Orlando continues to be a desirable place to live, work and play.
Mayor Dyer helped the community come together following the June 2016 Pulse nightclub tragedy that took the lives of 49 people and injured more than 50, vowing that Orlando would not be defined by one hateful act, but instead by responding with love and compassion. The unity was on display in the hours after the tragedy when residents waited for hours to donate blood, and later at vigils and memorials and as millions of dollars were raised to support victims’ families and survivors through the OneOrlando Fund.
Prior to being elected Mayor, he served for a decade in the Florida Senate. Mayor Dyer earned his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Brown University and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Florida College of Law. Before he chose to serve in public office, Mayor Dyer worked as an environmental engineer. He was born in Orlando and raised in nearby Kissimmee. Mayor Dyer is married to his wife Susie and is the proud father of two sons, Trey and Drew, and a beloved dog, Sammie.