The Global Business Travel Assocaitons (GBTA) has named Suzanne Neufang as its next executive director, leading the combined GBTA and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE). Neufang was hired, according to an announcement, after a comprehensive and exhaustive review of over 130 candidates from around the world. The months-long process was led by an independent search committee of industry leaders and staff. The search was coordinated by leading association consulting firm MCI-USA, which served as a third-party hub to screen applicants and facilitate the extensive interview process.
Neufang has held senior leadership roles with several travel and technology companies, most recently serving as senior vice president-Americas for HRS Global Hotel Solutions. Before HRS, Neufang worked for 10 years as an executive leader with Sabre Travel Network, GetThere and Travelocity and later as a divisional CMO for software giant Intuit. An active member of GBTA since 2005, Neufang led ACTE as board president from 2012 to 2014 and as a board member from 2014 to 2018. She served as ACTE’s interim executive director during the summer of 2012.
Neufang described the opportunity to lead GBTA as a “pinnacle career opportunity” and an important way to give back to an industry she loves, and which has offered her many opportunities. “It’s not a secret that business travel is at an historic low point as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in crises we find opportunities to be bold and to excel,” said Neufang. “Business travel has been down before and we have recovered – always coming back more technologically savvy, data-focused, and globally connected. The key questions for me are when we as an industry will recover, and how we as GBTA can drive economic and industry recovery to be even faster. We need to emerge from this pandemic as a healthier, more transparent association, one with the strongest possible, globally-focused foundation. As an organization, I believe we can work together to provide more value, better education and research, and even more effective advocacy for our members and sponsors. I’m very much looking forward to working with the professional staff at GBTA – and the board, members, sponsors, and regional partners – who have had a long track record of growth and success serving the business travel community.”
Neufang will take over on Feb. 24 from Dave Hilfman, who since July 2020 has served as the association’s interim executive director. Hilfman will remain with GBTA in a temporary consulting role to smooth the transition. He said that “stepping aside for Suzanne is easy, because she understands business travel from the buyer and supplier perspectives like few people I’ve ever met.”