Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced that its Global Executive Committee has appointed Kelly Craighead as president and chief executive officer, effective January 1, 2019. Craighead will be taking over the role currently held by Cindy D'Aoust, who in July of this year announced her intent to leave her position by year’s end.
Craighead has spent over 15 years in the public and private sectors, CLIA said, 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, Kelly led initiatives that generated over $250 billion annually from international visitors to the U.S. while also representing the United States internationally. Kelly 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, the organization said. Among her top priorities will be to continue to share the tremendous value and excitement of cruise travel.
“Demand for cruising is exhibiting strong growth, making the cruise industry a critical partner to localities, regions and nations around the world,” said Craighead in a written statement.