Ms. Marano is currently Director of the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Reporting to David Scowsill, WTTC President and CEO, Ms. Marano will be responsible for all aspects of WTTC's liaison with governments, other trade associations and industry bodies. She will begin her new position on January 2, 2012.

Ms. Marano has led the U.S. government's national tourism office in the U.S. Department of Commerce for 17 years and currently oversees policy and advocacy issues affecting the travel and tourism industries in the United States. She manages the statistical center for international travel and tourism for the country, incorporating the economic impact and forecasting of international travel and trends.

She brings a strong international perspective to collaboration between governments and private sector for advocacy and regional growth strategies through leadership in bodies such as APEC, OAS and OECD. Her engagement with the 30-member Travel and Tourism Advisory Board for the Secretary of Commerce has offered insight for policy positions from the industry to improve the business environment for travel and tourism.

David Scowsill said "Travel and tourism is one of the world's great industries, accounting for nine percent of global GDP and 260 million jobs worldwide. It is a driver of economic recovery and of greater social cohesion. But its importance is still not widely appreciated by governments around the world. The appointment of Helen Marano will bring a globally-recognized figure to lead our efforts to work in coalition with other associations to redress how governments perceive our industry and the policies they develop which affect it."

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), based in London, is the forum for business leaders in the travel and tourism industry. With chief executives of some one hundred of the world's leading travel and tourism companies as its members, WTTC has a unique mandate and overview on all matters related to travel and tourism.