Chris Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA (the destination marketing organization for the United States), will retire effective May 31, 2024, according to a press release issued Monday (July 31).
"After a successful tenure of leading the organization, Thompson has decided to step down and pursue life beyond work," Brand USA stated.
During his time as president and CEO, Thompson played a pivotal role in promoting the United States as a premier travel destination.
Under his leadership, Brand USA has achieved remarkable milestones, including increased international visitation, and enhanced global awareness of the diverse offerings across the country.
Thompson's strategic vision and unwavering commitment to excellence have been instrumental in driving Brand USA's success, the organization said.
His dedication to fostering partnerships with industry stakeholders, government agencies, and international organizations has strengthened the organization's position as a global leader in destination marketing.
"It has been an incredible privilege to serve as president and CEO of Brand USA," said Thompson. "I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together, and I am confident that the organization will continue to thrive under new leadership."
The Brand USA Board of Directors expressed their gratitude to Thompson for his exceptional leadership and significant contributions to the organization.
"Under Chris's strategic guidance, the Brand USA team has kept the USA the preferred travel destination in the world," stated Todd Davidson, Chair of the Brand USA Board and CEO of Travel Oregon. "Chris's integrity, tenacity, passion and belief in the power of the travel and tourism industry to bring prosperity to all Americans, fuelled the advancement of the U.S. travel and tourism industry and established an organizational foundation of innovation, resiliency and future-focused confidence. We all wish him the very best in his retirement."
The search for a new president and CEO is commencing, and Brand USA is committed to finding a successor who will build upon Thompson's legacy and continue to drive the organization forward.
The Board of Directors will work with an executive search firm to identify a candidate with the necessary expertise, vision, and passion for promoting the United States as a global travel destination.