The CLIA Global Executive Committee (GEC), together with the CLIA Board of Directors, is responsible for establishing the overall strategic direction of the association.
CLIA Global Chair - Pierfrancesco Vago
As Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago leads MSC Cruises’ strategy and long-term vision, focusing on the Company’s sustained growth and the development of its fleet and terminal portfolio. In this role, which he assumed in 2013, he has spearheaded the launch of MSC Cruises’ second fleet expansion plan. It will see up to six ship classes join the Company’s fleet in ten years.
Vago also oversees the MSC Group’s subsidiaries with strategic relevance to the tourism sector, including ferry operator GNV and MSC’s future luxury cruise brand that is set to start operating in 2023.
As Chair of the MSC Foundation’s Executive Committee, he oversees the MSC Group’s philanthropic efforts, focusing on conservation, humanitarian and cultural projects.
In January 2021, Vago was appointed Chair of the Global Executive Committee of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). In this position, he is leading the cruise industry’s efforts to resume service following the global halt of cruise operations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vago has been closely involved in the cruise industry’s global association for many years and from 2014 to 2016 he held the Chairmanship of CLIA in Europe.
From 2003 to 2013, Vago was MSC Cruises’ CEO. In this position, he oversaw MSC Cruises’ first phase of expansion, which saw the first 12 purpose-built cruise ships join the Company’s fleet in just ten years.
Vago began his career in the family business, Franco Vago SpA, one of Italy’s leading transport companies. He joined MSC Group’s cargo business, Mediterranean Shipping Company, in 2000, becoming Line Manager for the USA, Mexico, and Canada in 2001.
Vago studied Economics in the United Kingdom, at St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge.
Micky Arison has been Chair of the Board of Directors of Carnival Corporation since 1990 and Chair of the Board of Directors of Carnival plc since 2003.
As the world’s largest travel and leisure company, Carnival Corporation (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) has nine cruise brands, which are based throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, and include: Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America, Princess, Seabourn, AIDA, Costa, Cunard, P&O UK, and P&O Australia.
Arison grew up in the cruise business—leaving college at the University of Miami and joining Carnival Cruise Lines, the company founded by his father, Ted Arison, in 1971.
Following a two-year stint in the Carnival Cruise Lines sales department, he became Reservations Manager in 1974 and Vice President of Passenger Traffic in 1976—attracting younger travelers and those who had never taken a cruise before with competitively priced packages and shorter itinerary options. He was named President of the company in 1979. Under Arison's direction, Carnival, became the industry leader by expanding its fleet through new ship construction and entering new market segments through acquisitions. In 1987, the company went public, generating $400 million for future expansion. In 1989, he engineered the acquisition of the Holland America Line to enter the premium cruise market. He also led the company’s acquisitions of ultra-luxury leader Seabourn; Cunard, operator of the world’s most famous ocean liners; Costa Cruises, Europe’s number one cruise company; and P&O Princess Cruises, one of the most recognizable names in travel.
In 2013, Carnival appointed longtime Carnival Board Member Arnold Donald President and CEO, with Arison continuing to serve as Chairman. He also is a member of the Cruise Lines International Association Global Executive Committee and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association.
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 an 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.
Outside of cruise, Arison is 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.
CLIA Global Chair - Jason Liberty
Jason Liberty is the President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group where he stewards the industry’s leading cruise brands including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises; as well as the joint ventures in TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, of which the company is a 50% owner. Propelled by more than 100,000 employees from more than 140 countries, the Group’s fleet of 64 ships sails to all seven continents.
He was named CEO in January 2022, following a career spanning nearly two decades in the cruise industry, and helped navigate the company through the pandemic’s unprecedented challenges, ultimately bringing the business back to record performance in 2023.
Mr. Liberty is committed to delivering the best vacations responsibly and leads an organization that is continually innovating to create the ultimate experiences at sea and on land; driving the company’s ambitious energy transition efforts; and harnessing technology to expand the company’s commercial capabilities. Over the coming year, the Group will launch an array of innovative new products including Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, a ship that will usher in a new era in family vacation experiences; Celebrity Ascent from Celebrity Cruises, the brand redefining premium travel; and Silversea Cruises’ Silver Nova, setting a new standard in ultra-luxury travel; along with two more new ships and new highly anticipated private destination experiences.
Mr. Liberty joined Royal Caribbean Group in 2005 as a finance executive, and was named Chief Financial Officer in 2013. Along the way, he was responsible for Finance, Strategy, Shared Services Operations, Legal, Technology, the acquisition of Silversea Cruises and the company’s TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises joint ventures. Prior to joining the Group, he worked at KPMG, one of the world’s leading professional services firms.
He holds an accounting degree from the University of Miami School of Business; a Master’s Degree in Finance from Indiana University; and an MBA from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he serves on the Board of Advisors. He also serves on the Board of Directors of WNS Limited, a business process management public company headquartered in Mumbai, India.
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).
Harry J. Sommer
Harry Sommer is the incoming 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. Sommer, an over 30-year cruise industry veteran, will assume this role on July 1, 2023 after previously serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company’s largest brand, Norwegian Cruise Line. In this role Sommer led sales, marketing, revenue management, passenger services, itinerary development, international business development and operations for Norwegian Cruise Line. Under his leadership, Sommer navigated the cruise line through the industry’s toughest period in its history and successfully relaunched its fleet of ships following a more than 500-day pause; delivered the first-in-class Norwegian Prima, the first ship of six ships in the brand’s first new class in nearly a decade; and led the team to achieve a record-breaking booking year in 2022. In addition to his role at Norwegian Cruise Line, Sommer also assumed oversight responsibilities in January 2023 for all of the Company’s other revenue generating functional areas which included Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and the tri-branded Onboard Revenue department.
Previously, Sommer served as President, International for the Company’s portfolio of award-winning brands including Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. In this role he was responsible for sales, marketing, public relations, business development and office operations for all markets outside of the United States and Canada. Sommer led efforts to expand the Company’s global footprint with the opening of several offices around the world and significantly strengthened its international presence.
During his tenure in the industry, Sommer held a variety of executive roles at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., Prestige Cruise Holdings, Renaissance Cruises and Viking River Cruises including Executive Vice President, International Business Development;
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer; Senior Vice President Finance; Chief Information Officer and Chief Accounting Officer. He also cofounded Luxury Cruise Center, a high-end travel agency specializing in premium and luxury cruise experiences. Sommer holds an MBA from Pace University and a BBA from Baruch College, both in New York City and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).
Josh Weinstein is president, chief executive officer and chief climate officer of Carnival Corporation & plc and leads one of the world’s largest leisure travel companies that boasts a portfolio of nine popular cruise line brands including Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, P&O Cruises (Australia), Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard. The company employs a talented and diverse workforce of people from nearly 150 countries. Its fleet of more than 90 ships welcomes nearly 13 million guests each year and visits all seven continents.
Josh assumed his current position in August 2022 after playing a critical role planning the company’s response to the unprecedented pause in guest operations from the COVID-19 pandemic and then the successful restart. His tenure at Carnival includes previous roles as chief operations officer of Carnival Corporation from June 2020 – July 2022, where he was responsible for oversight of major operational functions including global maritime, global ports and destinations, global sourcing, global IT and global auditing. During this time, he also oversaw Carnival UK, the operating company for P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard. He previously managed Carnival UK directly, serving as president from July 2017 – 2020.
Josh also served as treasurer for Carnival Corporation from 2007 to 2017 following five years as an attorney in the corporate legal department. In addition to his treasury role, Josh’s responsibilities increased over his career to include oversight of the tax, risk management and finance, planning & analysis functions.
Prior to joining Carnival Corporation, he served as a corporate attorney. Josh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the New York University School of Law. A native of New York, he and his wife have three children.
Richard D. Fain
Richard D. Fain is Chair of the Board of the Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL), a position he has held since 1988 when he was also named Chief Executive Officer of the company.
On January 3, 2022, Fain stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Group—with Jason Liberty succeeding him as CEO in addition to joining the Board of the Directors. The moves, part of a succession planning process developed by Fain and the Board of Directors, were announced in November 2021. In announcing his decision to step down as CEO, Fain said that with most of the company’s ships operating, a full return to cruising approaching, and Royal Caribbean Group’s brands under the leadership of exceptional CEOs, it was the right time to make the transition.
With a career spanning more than 33 years at the company, Fain’s innovations have helped shape the modern cruise industry. His storied career is defined by the innovations he championed involving every aspect of cruising – from revolutionary ship design to major sustainability efforts to the technologies and ground-breaking features that enriched the onboard experience for millions of guests.
Under his leadership, the Royal Caribbean Group introduced new and distinctive ship categories, with a diverse range of amenities and experiences that transformed the nature of cruising. These transformational ships include Royal Caribbean International's Sovereign, Voyager, and Oasis classes; Celebrity Cruises' Solstice and Edge classes; the highly anticipated Royal Caribbean International Icon class to be introduced in 2023; and Silversea Cruises' "Project Evolution" that will become the industry's first hybrid powered ship when introduced in 2023. Fain, working with Liberty, will continue his involvement in the Group's ship construction program.
Fain joined Royal Caribbean in 1979 as an outside director on the company’s Board of Directors. Prior to Royal Caribbean, he spent 13 years as treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and Joint Managing Director of Gotaas-Larsen Shipping Corp., a London-based owner and operator of cargo ships.
Fain is a member of the Global Executive Committee of the Cruise Lines International Association. He also serves on the University of Miami Board of Trustees and the Uhealth Board of Directors. He is former chairman of the University of Miami Board of Trustees, the Miami Business Forum, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the United Way of Miami-Dade.
Fain earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Colleen, have four children and six grandchildren.
Thomas Mazloum is President of Disney Signature Experiences, 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, Mazloum 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.
Mazloum 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.
Mazloum 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, he 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.
Mazloum was elected to the Global Executive Committee of the Cruise Lines International Association in 2020, following his appointment as President of Disney Signature Experiences.
Mazloum was born in Austria, and 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 Cruise Lines is part of a closely held group of maritime companies, including Pearl Seas Cruises and Chesapeake Shipbuilding, led by Charles and his brothers, Clark and Carter Robertson.
Robertson succeeded his father and American Cruise Lines founder, Charles A. Robertson, who passed away on February 9, 2020.
He grew up in the business, working in the shipyard and aboard American Cruise Lines’ ships. He became a Vice President in 2014 and has 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.
American Cruise Lines 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 to 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.
Robertson is a member of the Global Executive Committee of the Cruise Lines International Association. He earned his MBA from Columbia University and holds a U.S. Coast Guard Master’s License.