U.S. Travel Association selects Geoff Freeman as president/CEO

The next chapter of the U.S. Travel Association will be led by Geoff Freeman, who will succeed Roger Dow as president/CEO.

He rejoins the U.S. Travel Association after nearly a decade of association leadership—first as president/CEO of the American Gaming Association and as the current president/CEO of the Consumer Brands Association. He will join U.S. Travel on Sept. 1.

Over the past 20 years, Freeman has built an approach to association leadership that is centered around industry unity and transformational change. In his previous leadership role at U.S. Travel, his strategic work led to the industry’s signature bipartisan legislative victory establishing the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 and creating Brand USA. Other accomplishments included leading the industry effort behind the creation of TSA PreCheck and establishing the Meetings Mean Business Coalition.

As CEO of the American Gaming Association from 2013 to 2018, he led an industrywide campaign to legalize sports betting and expanded the organization’s membership to include tribal gaming entities. As CEO of the Consumer Brands Association, he galvanized industry support behind a transformation strategy: defining a new brand identity, growing membership, strengthening the organization’s leadership team and re-establishing the association as a Washington, DC, powerhouse.

Dow is stepping down following a 17-year tenure as leader of the organization.

“We are proud to welcome Geoff Freeman back to lead the U.S. Travel Association,” said Christine Duffy, national chair, U.S. Travel Association and president, Carnival Cruise Line. “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 added, “I am eager to get to work on behalf of this incredible industry, which has long held a special place for me. There are few industries more essential to the nation’s economy, more connected to consumers and more critical to bringing Americans together than the travel industry. I believe U.S. Travel’s talented team can continue to raise the bar, and I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and get started.

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

The nationwide search to identify the association’s next president/CEO was guided by a nine-member search committee representative of core segments of the travel industry, led by Duffy and supported by Heidrick & Struggles.