The CLIA Global Executive Committee includes; the Chairman of the board, four at-large representatives, two Emeritus Directors, CLIA's President and the Chairs of CLIA-Europe and North America. The Executive Committee and the CLIA Board of Directors, are responsible for establishing the overall strategic direction of the association. The Executive Committee provides oversight to ensure CLIA operates within the confines of its by-laws, charter and articles of incorporation as a DC non-profit corporation. Meetings are also attended by CLIA’s Counsel
CLIA Global Chair - Pierfrancesco Vago
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, has been appointed to a two-year term as Global Chairman of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Mr. Vago will assume the Global Chairmanship effective immediately.
“On behalf of the entire CLIA community, including both our staff and our members, I would like to welcome Mr. Vago and congratulate him on his appointment as CLIA Global Chairman,” said CLIA president and CEO Kelly Craighead. “Mr. Vago is a visionary leader within the global cruise community. We will benefit tremendously from his ideas, insights, and direction as we look to overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and support the restart of the cruise industry internationally and in the United States in particular.” Mr. Vago served as CEO of MSC Cruises from 2003 to 2013, during which time the company experienced over 800% growth. As Executive Chairman, he continues to propel MSC’s growth, cementing its position as one of the largest providers of cruise vacations in the world. With the company based in Geneva, Switzerland, Mr. Vago will be the first European to serve in the role of CLIA Global Chairman. He previously served as Chairman of CLIA Europe in 2014.
“This is a highly critical juncture for our industry globally. I am honored and grateful for the support and trust of my peers as we work to resume the business of creating unforgettable experiences for our treasured guests, as well as generating economic impact and job opportunities benefitting millions of people worldwide who are touched in so many ways by our industry,” said Mr. Vago. “With over 200 sailings that have taken place since last summer in various markets around the world, all with strict measures in place to promote public health, we have proven that a return to cruising is possible. I look forward to working with CLIA leadership and our partners in the industry to continue down this path and help secure a vibrant future for all who depend on it.”
Mr. Vago assumes the position of CLIA Global Chairman following an unprecedented year for the cruise industry
and the entire travel sector. Looking ahead, CLIA and its members remain focused on continuing to advance the
resumption of cruising around the world as well as building upon its ongoing commitment to environmental
Mr. Vago succeeds Adam Goldstein, who recently completed his second term as Global Chairman of CLIA. Mr. Goldstein will remain busy with his work and involvement in several technology startups and non-profit organizations.
“It has been an honor to serve as Global Chairman of CLIA these past two years and I am proud of all that we have accomplished together, even as we have faced unprecedented challenges,” said Mr. Goldstein. “I have known Pierfrancesco Vago for many years and am fortunate to consider him a friend. I wish him and everyone at CLIA and throughout the industry tremendous success. I truly believe that the best is yet to come for this very special industry.”
Arison, 67, followed his education with a two-year stint in Carnival Cruise Lines sales department. He became reservations manager in 1974, and took over the post of vice president of passenger traffic in 1976, succeeding to the presidency of Carnival in 1979. In 1990, he was appointed chairman by the company's board of directors. In 2013, the role of Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO was split with Arison continuing to serve as chairman and longtime Carnival board member Arnold Donald named CEO.
Carnival went public in 1987, raising $400 million for future expansion. The company continued its growth through the traditional avenue of new ship construction and also began to diversify expanding the company's cruise operations by entering new market segments of the industry.
By early 1989, Arison engineered the acquisition of the venerable Holland America Line, giving Carnival entrée to the premium segment of the cruise industry. The purchase also included Westours (now Holland America Princess Alaska Tours), a leading Alaska tour operator.
Today, Carnival Corporation also owns ultra-luxury Cunard, operator of the legendary Queen Mary 2, along with Seabourn, and Genoa, Italy-based Costa Cruises, Europe’s leading cruise operator.
In April 2003, Arison spearheaded the dual listed company transaction combining Carnival Corporation’s various cruise operators with the wide-ranging brands of P&O Princess Cruises, creating a truly global cruise operator with the leading cruise brands in both North America and Europe.
The P&O Princess Cruises transaction included Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises, AIDA Cruises, and P&O Cruises Australia.
Following the transaction, the company was renamed Carnival Corporation & plc and is traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges. It is the only company in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.
Arison's keen attention to marketing and growth priorities has resulted in revenues increasing from approximately $600 million in 1988 to $16.4 billion in 2016.
Arison is past-chairman of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), a trade organization whose mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on legislation, tourism development, ports, safety, security and other cruise industry issues.
Arison’s contributions to the cruise industry have been recognized by a wide range of international organizations. He has been named an “Officer of the French Legion of Honor” – the country’s highest civilian honor – by French President Jacques Chirac, received a honorary doctorate in naval architecture from the University of Genoa, and was awarded the Decoration of Commander, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland by the President of the Republic of Finland.
He has also been awarded the insignia of “Onorificenza al Merito della Repubblica Italiana” by the president of Italy, which confers that country's highest title on a civilian.
Arison is also the managing general partner of the National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat franchise and has served as chairman of the league’s board of governors.
Arison and his family are longtime residents of the Miami area.
At the helm of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise line, Michael Bayley leads a global team of more than 50,000 ship and shoreside employees, deliveringmemorable cruise vacations to over five million international guests on its fleet of 24ships sailing to more than 270 destinations.
As President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Bayley is responsible for thecruise line’s entire operation, in addition to its private destinations, including Labadee,Haiti and Perfect Day at CocoCay, The Bahamas – the first in a series of privateisland destinations around the world known as the Perfect Day Island Collection. Akey focus of his is to inspire teams to deliver the unrivaled and award-winning RoyalCaribbean vacation experience of innovation and excellence.
Under Bayley’s leadership, Royal Caribbean continues to grow as the leading cruise line. He most recentlyoversaw the debut of revolutionary ships Symphony of the Seas, offering cruises to North American andinternational markets, and Spectrum of the Seas, sailing from China year-round. The line has an additional sixships under construction and on order, including Odyssey of the Seas – set to debut in 20210 – and a brandnewclass of ships named Icon. Bayley is integral to the development of innovations with each new privateisland destination and ship introduced by the cruise line, which is a leader in inspiring an active style ofcruising and known for creating unexpected, industry-first architectural concepts and experiences – fromrock-climbing walls and ice-skating rinks, to surfing and skydiving.
Bayley began his career with Royal Caribbean in 1981 as an assistant purser on board the m.s. Nordic Prince.Over a 10-year span, he worked in a variety of positions throughout the cruise line’s expanding fleet, eachwith increasing managerial responsibility. Bayley’s success led him to serve as vice president of Total GuestSatisfaction, Fleet Operations; senior vice president of Hotel Operations and Onboard Revenue, and later asexecutive vice president of Operations, overseeing marine, hotel, tour and ground operations, andcommercial development. He has spent time based in Europe as the Chairman and Managing Director ofIsland Cruises, a joint venture between First Choice Holidays, a leading U.K. Tour Operator, and RoyalCaribbean. Bayley also once served as vice president at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
The industry veteran has pioneered the concept of cruising in emerging markets across the globe. In 2008, asexecutive vice president of International Sales and Marketing at Royal Caribbean, Bayley started up offices in11 countries throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia, and was instrumental in opening and developing theChina market. In 2012, he was named President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, becoming responsible forimproving the brand’s overall financial performance when he expanded the vacation offering to guests in thepremium segment. He then became President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International in 2014.A native of the United Kingdom and currently living in South Florida, Bayley graduated in Business from theUniversity of Bournemouth.
Kelly Craighead is President and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), representing an expansive community of the world's most prestigious ocean, river, and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and a widespread network of stakeholders, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers, and business services.
As President and CEO, Kelly is responsible for leading the organization’s work as the leading authority and voice of the industry across the association’s five operating regions, including North America, Europe, Australasia, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Ireland. An important part of her leadership is directing the development and execution of the organization’s advocacy strategy and initiatives, which are designed to support the broad international business coalition that comprises the global cruise industry.
Under her leadership, CLIA and its members are paving the way in responsible tourism practices, significantly increasing the industry’s collective investment in research, development, and education, as well as executing advocacy and promotional efforts that add and create value for the cruise community and its partners.
Additionally, she serves as Vice Chairman and Executive Director of the Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation (CICF), a non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity founded in 1998 that serves to improve the quality of life in communities served by the cruise industry. CICF focuses its efforts in four key areas that include civic and community development, educational assistance and training programs, public health programs, and environmental preservation initiatives.
Kelly joined CLIA in January 2019, bringing with her over 20 years of executive leadership experience from both the public and private sectors, including most recently as the first-ever Deputy Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism at the United States Department of Commerce.
During her time with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Kelly acted as the senior government representative for travel and tourism matters on behalf of the United States. In addition to coordinating federal government tourism policies and programs, Kelly led initiatives that generated more than $250 billion USD annually from international visitors to the United States. She also represented the United States as the key point of contact for foreign tourism ministers regarding critical travel and tourism policy matters.
Earlier in her career, Kelly held leadership positions in the White House and traveled extensively within the United States and abroad supporting official government business and developing a wide network of international partners in government, media and business. Prior to her appointment as President and CEO of CLIA, Kelly founded Vertimas Consulting, where she supported a variety of private sector clients, including the World Travel and Tourism Council, with counsel and executive leadership support, including strategic planning and business development. A passionate and active member of the travel and tourism community, Kelly has been a member of Visit Florida’s board of directors since July 1, 2020, and in 2017 was named “Outstanding Woman in Travel and Tourism Leadership” by Women in Travel and Tourism Industries (WITTI).
Frank J. Del Rio
Frank J. Del Rio is the president and chief executive officer of S&P 500 company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: NCLH), which operates Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Del Rio assumed this role in January 2015. An over 25-year cruise industry veteran, Del Rio has successfully led Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in delivering industry leading financial results while providing an unparalleled guest experience. Under his leadership, the company has expanded its fleet with the newest and most innovative ships at sea, introduced the company’s latest island destination, Harvest Caye in Belize, and significantly strengthened its global footprint.
Previously, Del Rio served as chairman and chief executive officer of Prestige Cruise Holdings, Inc., the parent company operating both Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Del Rio founded Oceania Cruises in 2002, and in doing so, created a new “upper premium” market space in the cruise industry. Under his leadership the line has grown from a fledgling start-up with one 684-passenger ship to a dominant player in the upscale cruise market with six ships totaling 5,300 berths, including the addition of two highly acclaimed 1,250-passenger sister ships, Marina and Riviera. In 2008, Prestige Cruise Holdings acquired Regent Seven Seas Cruises and quickly completed a turnaround which positioned Regent Seven Seas Cruises as the market leader in luxury cruising and in turn positioned Prestige Cruise Holdings as the premier operator of upscale cruise brands.
Del Rio, who was born in Havana, Cuba and emigrated to the United States in 1961 at age six, earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Florida and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Arnold Donald is President & Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation & PLC, the largest travel and leisure company in the world. Their portfolio of ten cruise brands -- Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises UK, P&O Cruises Australia and Fathom are based throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Together these brands maintain a fleet of over 100 ships and serve more than 11 million guests annually. Carnival Corporation & PLC also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon with 10 hotels plus rail and bus services connecting guests with the northern interior. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & PLC is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P500 and the FTSE 100 indices.
Mr. Donald has been President & CEO of Carnival Corporation since 2013; prior to that he served on the board for 12 years. He currently serves on the board of Bank of America Corporation.
Mr. Donald spent more than twenty years at Monsanto Company as Corporate Senior Vice-President, and President of the Consumer and Nutrition sector and President of the Agricultural sector. After leaving Monsanto, Mr. Donald was Chairman of Merisant Company whose products included the leading global sweetener brands Equal and Canderel.
Immediately prior to Carnival, Mr. Donald was a founder and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Executive Leadership Council, a professional network and leadership forum for African-American executives of Fortune 500 companies, and the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, the largest charitable funder of diabetes research in the world.
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Mr. Donald received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College, a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University in St Louis, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Mr. Donald has a strong commitment to higher education and serves on the boards of two of his alma maters, Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and Washington University in St. Louis, in Missouri. He is also on the boards of the Greater New Orleans Foundation and Tulane University among others.
Richard D. Fain
Richard D. Fain serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL). The Group owns and operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea Cruises, and Azamara. Additionally, Royal Caribbean Group is part of joint ventures that operate TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The company's 62 ships carry more than 6 million guests a year to ports on all seven continents.
Since taking the helm of Royal Caribbean in 1988, Fain has guided the company’s growth to its current place on the S&P 500, as well as its repeat listing by the Ethisphere Institute as a World's Most Ethical Company. Twice, Barron’s has named him one of the World’s 30 Best CEOs for his vision and changing the course of the industry.
Fain serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami and is on the executive committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council. He has been recognized with the Federal Maritime Commission's Earth Day Award, the Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award, the South Florida Business Lifetime Achievement Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and membership in the South Florida Business Hall of Fame. The French government honored Fain as a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, while the Finnish government named him a Commander, First Class, of the Order of the Lion.
Fain holds a B.S. degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Fain and his wife, Colleen, have four children and seven extraordinary grandchildren.
Thomas Mazloum is President of Disney Signature Experience, leading several key growth businesses for the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment and inspiring teams around the world to deliver the company’s unparalleled family vacations. Based in Celebration, Florida, he oversees Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures by Disney, National Geographic Expeditions, Golden Oak and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.
Before being named to his current role in May 2020, Mazloum served as senior vice president of operations at Walt Disney World Resort, overseeing 30 Disney resort hotels as well as premium services, security and transportation operations at the world’s premier vacation destination.
At Disney Cruise Line, Thomas is responsible for the entire award-winning operation, including the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships, as well as Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island in the Bahamas) and Disney’s Port Canaveral cruise terminal. He also oversees the much-anticipated expansion of Disney’s cruise fleet, with three new ships on the horizon, all of them showcasing the immersive family entertainment, enchanting storytelling and service for which Disney is well known.
Thomas also leads the team at Disney Vacation Club, the company’s popular vacation-ownership program. The club offers a portfolio of 15 themed resorts, from its newest property, Disney’s Riviera Resort, to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, to properties across Walt Disney World Resort, at Disneyland Resort and in Vero Beach, Florida and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. His other responsibilities include Adventures by Disney and National Geographic Expeditions, the company’s guided group travel businesses, as well as Golden Oak, the company’s luxury whole-ownership community of custom homes at Walt Disney World Resort.
Thomas began his Disney career in 1998 as a hotel director for Disney Cruise Line and was instrumental in launching the Disney Wonder, the second ship in the Disney fleet. He later served as general manager of Food & Beverage and Special Events at Epcot. Before returning to Disney in 2017, Thomas served as the chief operating officer of Crystal Cruise Line, leading efforts to define “The Crystal Experience,” a concept that would set the bar for luxury vacations, with a focus on nurturing a positive employee culture.
Born in Austria, Thomas earned his degree in hotel management and administration in Innsbruck. A lifelong learner, he has also received several business certifications from such institutions as Cornell University, the Hotel School of Lausanne and the Hotel School of Salzburg.
Charles B. Robertson
Charles B. Robertson is President & CEO of American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. flag cruise operator. American is part of a closely held group of maritime companies, also including Pearl Seas Cruises and Chesapeake Shipbuilding which are led by Charles and his brothers, Clark and Carter Robertson. Charles succeeded his father, Charles A. Robertson, the company’s founder who passed away on February 9, 2020.
Charles grew up in the businesses, working in the shipyard and aboard American Cruise Lines’ ships. He became a Vice President in 2014, where he led much of the line’s growth through market development and new ship introductions. As the company grew his focus shifted to ship innovation, personalized experiences, and partnerships with local communities throughout the country. He was instrumental in developing and launching the first modern riverboats in the U.S., a significant departure from the paddlewheelers that had historically been predominate on the U.S. rivers. Charles holds an MBA from Columbia University and USCG Master’s License.
American is the largest cruise line operating on U.S. waters, with the newest fleet of coastal cruise ships and riverboats in the U.S. All ships accommodate 100-200 passengers, and are built, crewed, and registered in the USA. With over 35 itineraries, American operates on the waterways of New England, Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Mississippi River system, and the Southeast.