Sustainability Leader and Climate Scientist Megan Morikawa Becomes Chair of the Travel Foundation

Dr. Megan Morikawa has been elected as the new Chair of the Travel Foundation’s Board of Trustees replacing Helen Marano, who first assumed the role in December 2020. Morikawa assumes the leadership position as the organisation begins implementation of its recently developed Strategy 2030.

Morikawa is Global Director of Sustainability Office at Iberostar, and has advised on sustainable tourism with the World Economic Forum (WEF), World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (SHA), and the Marrakesh Partnership affiliated with the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreements. She joined Iberostar in 2018, leading the company’s lauded Wave of Change movement focused on work in the circular economy, sustainable fisheries and coastal health. Morikawa, who earned her PhD in biology and brings a scientific approach to corporate sustainability, is based in Washington, D.C. and has been a trustee of the Travel Foundation since October 2022. 

Morikawa will work closely with Travel Foundation CEO Jeremy Sampson to forge new partnerships, recruit new trustees, and serve as an ambassador for the organisation to the industry. The Travel Foundation has declared an ambition to scale its global impact alongside its call for accelerated climate action and increased equity in the travel and tourism sector. 

“I am honored to support the Travel Foundation as it launches its new strategy to further support the needs of communities and environments of destinations and businesses in tourism,” says Morikawa. “The Travel Foundation has a bold ambition to foster real systems change in the sector, and I could not be more excited to support the team and engage the Board to help bring the new strategy to life.” 

“It is my honour and pleasure to offer Megan Morikawa as the new Chair for the Travel Foundation,” says Marano, who will continue to serve on the Board for the remainder of her term. “As we continue focusing on climate action and equitable outcomes from tourism, she is well qualified to lead us in this direction. I have thoroughly enjoyed supporting this organisation and leading the Board through the major transition period we have experienced.”

Communications specialist Debbie Hindle will remain as Vice Chair. New appointments to the Board are expected later this year, which will seek to continue to broaden its representation. 

The charity’s Board of Trustees also includes:

  • Jane Ashton, Sustainability Director, easyJet
  • Dr Susanne Etti, Global Environmental Impact Manager, Intrepid Travel
  • Georgette James, Founder of Clynice Travel & Tourism Consulting
  • Dr Manal Kelig, co- founder of Gateway To Egypt
  • Cathy Ritter, Director, Better Destinations
  • Şemsi Toprak, Turkey Programme Manager at the TUI Care Foundation
  • Rochelle Turner, Head of Sustainability, Exodus Travels

Full details of the Travel Foundation Board can be found here

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