Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has appointed Kelly Craighead as president and chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1.
Craighead takes over the role currently held by Cindy D’Aoust, who in July of this year announced her intent to leave the position by year’s end.
Craighead has spent over 15 years in the public and private sectors, recently serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism in the U.S. Department of Commerce where she advanced travel and tourism priorities within the Administration and with Congress. As the first Executive Director of the National Travel & Tourism Office, she led initiatives that generated more than $250 billion annually from International visitors to the US while also representing the United States internationally.
Craighead remains active in global tourism efforts and is engaged with several international organizations focused on advancing travel and tourism priorities.
In the role of president and CEO, Craighead will direct CLIA’s global team to continue to unify, represent, advocate and promote the common interests of the organization’s members and the global cruise industry. Among her top priorities will be to continue to share the tremendous value and excitement of cruise travel – making it the best holiday or vacation choice for every traveller around the world.
“Demand for cruising is exhibiting strong growth, making the cruise industry a critical partner to localities, regions and nations around the world,” said Craighead. “I am excited to be joining such a strong and well-respected organization at an important time for the industry. I look forward to listening, learning, and better understanding the needs of our members and building on the strong foundation and success of the current team, in order to most effectively lead CLIA in the years ahead.”