Vice President, Research

21 Aug, 2023


Vice President, Research

U.S. Travel Association
Washington D.C.

The Vice President, Research leads the $1.2 trillion travel industry’s efforts to understand and articulate travel’s critical role as a driver of the American economy, creates and shares travel industry trends to inform policymakers, opinion leaders, and other critical stakeholders. The role serves as an industry spokesperson and oversees the organization’s research team along with multiple external resources. The Vice President, Research is a key member of U.S. Travel’s senior leadership team and requires strong collaboration with internal and external partners specifically within public affairs and industry engagement leadership to help support the U.S. Travel agenda around policy, media communications, and membership value.


  • With key members of the leadership team, develop and execute a research strategy that moves the association’s strategic priorities forward, supporting its mission to grow travel to and within the U.S.
  • Generate research that demonstrates how travel positively impacts the economy, society and individuals’ well-being aligning with the need to establish travel as essential and responsible to the United States’ global competitiveness.­­
  • Position U.S. Travel as a thought leader in the travel industry on consumer, economic and policy research.
  • Provide leadership and oversight of the research team; sets department and individual goals to align with organizational priorities and research strategy.
  • Play a critical role in ensuring U.S. Travel is leveraging its research to inform policymakers and key stakeholders to advance policy and advocacy priorities.
  • Measure the impacts of public policy – proposed or actual – on industry performance. Bring innovative and creative ideas to this critical priority.
  • Contribute to industry strategy and priorities by measuring and tracking key barriers and pain points to be addressed through public policy change. Help determine associated messaging to leverage in the social and earned media engagement.
  • Develop research products that deliver unique data and insights to association members to drive engagement, keep them informed, aide in decision-making and support industry priorities.
  • Pioneer new research methods and products to help answer difficult but important questions.
  • Drive new ideas to measure industry trends, monitor existing capabilities and identify opportunities to expand industry’s growth, monitor potential disruption and examine external challenges to inform internal objectives.
  • Evaluate opportunities within research to drive membership value.
  • Partner with internal marketing, media communications and social communications colleagues to drive the publication and dissemination of research findings through various channels to ensure outputs reach the intended audience.
  • Collaborate closely with the entire public affairs organization with an emphasis on government relations and media teams to develop data-driven messaging that enable elevated thought leadership and underscore the need to better position travel as an essential U.S. business.
  • Manage external research partners and vendors while identifying new sources of data and insights beneficial to the organization.
  • Elevate the quality of U.S. Travel’s research and insights to make the organization highly sought after by media, investors and other opinion leaders.
  • Serve as a spokesperson on market forces and industry trends as needed.

Key Attributes

  • Possesses a knack for storytelling by understanding how data analysis drives arguments, narrative and message. Able to parcel through complex data to identify memorable – and accurate – storylines or themes.
  • Demonstrates strong and strategic business acumen; can set priorities and make choices based on long-term goals and objectives.
  • Operates as a creative problem solver and can design new approaches and methods to solve difficult research questions.
  • Must be collaborative, inclusive and be able to see the macro, understanding how best to position travel among many other priorities across U.S. government.
  • Displays an inquisitive, collaborative and service-oriented attitude and desire to be a resource.
  • Leads with confidence and inspires confidence among colleagues at all levels.
  • Ability to lead and be willing to advocate a broader set of ideas.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills; engaging and concise speaker on stage and in media.
  • Proven capability to navigate interests and obstacles to get products and projects to the finish line.
  • Ability to plan, direct and advise others on highly complex and sensitive projects and prepare and present technical reports.

Education, Experience and Skills: 

  • Minimum of 15 years of proven experience in a research capacity at a trade association, government agency, corporation or educational institution.
  • Minimum of 7 years managing and motivating staff; proven track record of collaboration and alignment with cross-functional teams.
  • Education equivalent to master’s degree or higher in business, economics, tourism, or related fields a plus.
  • Strong organizational skills; ability to handle multiple tasks, meet deadlines, and manage priorities.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office products and other graphics or presentation software; familiarity with statistical software.
  • Mastery of research methods and techniques, statistical and other methods used in the analysis and projection of data, survey methods, and analytical techniques.
  • Prior experience as organization spokesperson; comfortable and skilled in both broadcast and print media interviews.
  • Receptive to feedback and direction, and in search of constant self-improvement.
  • Knowledge of macro-economics, consumer behavior and advocacy-driven data.
  • Previous budget and project management experience.
  • High degree of proficiency in synthesizing and communicating data from a variety of disciplines.

Supervisory Responsibility:

  • Two direct reports: Director, Research Products and Economist


  • Position based in Washington, DC. U.S. Travel staff work in the office Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with the option to work remotely on Mondays and Fridays.
  • Moderate travel is required.
  • Other Duties: Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
Learn more here

Job posted: 2023-08-21