Geoff Freeman Takes USTA Helm

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Association executive Geoff Freeman takes the helm of USTA, replacing long-time leader Roger Dow.

The U.S. Travel Association (USTA) has chosen a new president and CEO. Geoff Freeman, currently president and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association, will join USTA on September 1. He takes the helm from Roger Dow who is stepping down following 17 years of leading the association.

Freeman has a 20-year track record as an association leader, delivering brand identity and transformational change to different industries. He worked at USTA from 2007 to 2013, becoming executive vice president and CEO in 2011. Among his accomplishments during that time, he spearheaded industry efforts to create the TSA PreCheck program.

Christine Duffy, National Chair of USTA and President of Carnival Cruise Line, led a nine-member search committee representing core segments of the travel industry to select a new CEO. “We are proud to welcome Geoff Freeman back to lead the U.S. Travel Association,” she said in a statement. “Geoff is highly regarded in Washington and well known across our industry for his strategic work to conceive campaigns and programs that opened new pathways for growth in the travel economy. Now, returning to lead the association, Geoff will continue bringing a fresh and strategic approach to advancing the mission of U.S. Travel in its next era.”

Freeman has big shoes to fill. In his 34 years at Marriott International and 17 years at USTA, Dow was a tireless advocate for travel and tourism, including meetings and events. He unified travel industry stakeholders with one effective voice, advancing legislative policies and programs such as Brand USA, the nation’s first national travel program, and the Meetings Mean Business coalition. He steps down after navigating the exceptionally challenging pandemic years, spearheading initiatives that ranged from helping to provide government relief to beleaguered travel businesses to launching the Let’s Meet There program to support the value of in-person meetings and events returning after the pause. Recently, he was a committed advocate for lifting restrictions on international travel to the U.S., a goal that was accomplished on June 12 when President Biden dropped testing mandates for inbound travelers.

Roger Dow retires after 17 years of leadership at USTA
Roger Dow, retiring after 17 years of leadership at USTA

Said Freeman: “I’m proud and honored to succeed Roger Dow, who has been a profound leader and important mentor to me. I give Roger my sincere thanks for all he has done, for me and for the travel industry.”

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