Patricia Higginbotham will serve as the Vice President of Government Relations and General Counsel.  As GBTA continues to enhance its advocacy on behalf of corporate travel buyers, Ms. Higginbotham will focus on key legislative and regulatory priorities in Washington, D.C. and across GBTA's national network of 40 local chapters.  She will work closely with GBTA members, travel industry stakeholders, government representatives and policymakers to oppose taxes that unfairly target business travelers and to support NextGen for expedited air traffic control modernization, smart travel procurement practices and risk-based passenger screening. Ms. Higginbotham will also work closely with GBTA on its policies as it continues to expand globally. 

Ms. Higginbotham comes from the Air Transport Association of America, in Washington, D.C., where she most recently served as Vice President for Policy and Chief of Staff.  There she provided strategic, legal and policy counsel to the Chief Executive Officer and senior leadership team.  Prior to that she served as the Association's associate General Counsel where she was responsible for legal and regulatory advocacy.

GBTA Executive Director and COO, Michael W. McCormick said, "Patty comes to GBTA with significant leadership, management, policy and legal experience within the travel industry.  With her extensive experience she will help advise, advocate and shape future policy on behalf of our members and industry." 

Hema Shah will serve as Vice President of Corporate Strategy.  She will provide strategic leadership on new initiatives and special projects, supporting all aspects of the business.  In particular, Ms. Shah will lead and oversee potential mergers and acquisitions, new partnerships and various other deals to help develop existing business lines and explore new opportunities both domestically and internationally.  She will also be responsible for developing financial models, providing analytical support and providing competitive intelligence in support of GBTA's expansion. 

Before joining GBTA, Ms. Shah served as principal at Strategic Financial Consulting, where she supported global companies in various financial, operational and strategic decision making opportunities.  Prior to that, she served as Senior Director of Corporate Development at Cendant/Travelport where she was the finance lead for various acquisitions, integrations, and strategic initiatives.  In particular, she was the finance lead on the $1.4B Worldspan post-acquisition integration team, which successfully achieved $200M of synergies annually.

"Hema's understanding of strategy and business growth will help take GBTA to the next level.  She will be especially essential as we continue to expand our international reach," continued McCormick.   "We are pleased to have both of these talented executives join our team."