Member Biography

Kelly Craighead

Title: President and CEO

Organization: Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)

Committee Position: Member

Kelly Craighead is the President and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world's largest cruise industry trade association and the leading the authority of the global cruise community. She is responsible for overseeing the management of the global operations and CLIA leadership teams across its seven regions around the world.

Craighead comes to CLIA with extensive experience serving in executive leadership positions in the public and private sectors.

As the first executive director of the National Travel & Tourism Office at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2014 to 2017, Craighead served as the senior government representative for travel and tourism matters on behalf of the administration. In addition to providing overarching coordination of federal government tourism policies and programs, Craighead led initiatives that generated more than $250 billion annually from international visitors to the USA while also representing the United States as the key point of contact with other government tourism ministers in critical travel and tourism policy efforts.

Prior to her role at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Craighead served as President and Managing Director at Democracy Alliance where she provided essential management capacity to evolve the organization from inception to steady state.

Earlier in her career, Craighead held leadership roles on the White House staff from 1993-2001 and traveled extensively within the United States and abroad and developed a far-ranging network of partners in government, public affairs, media, and business.

Immediately before her appointment to CLIA, Craighead was Principal of Vertimas Consulting, a consultancy she founded to deliver strategic planning, business development and executive leadership support to variety of private sector clients including The World Travel and Tourism Council where she served as a Special Adviser.

In 2017, Women in Travel and Tourism Industries (witti) named Craighead
"Outstanding Woman in Travel and Tourism Leadership."