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Ivory Vogt, Program Manager, Climate & Resilience at Sustainable Travel International

Ivory Vogt

Ivory Vogt, Program Manager, Climate & Resilience at Sustainable Travel International

Program Manager, Climate & Resilience

A lover of oceans and mountains with a positive outlook on life, Ivory has a passion for preserving the environments and cultures of the iconic island destinations that we love. Ivory’s background includes tourism consulting and non-profit fundraising, event planning, member and donor relations, and environmental audits.

Ivory got her first experience in the travel industry at a membership organization, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in Bangkok. Her role at PATA focused on sustainability and social responsibility, where she worked on impactful projects like environmental audits, a community-based tourism workshop, and a plastics toolkit. 

Prior to joining Sustainable Travel International, Ivory worked as a sustainable tourism consultant in Palau for the Palau Visitors Authority, the Palau Chamber of Commerce, and the Bureau of Tourism. Besides working on COVID-related projects for Palau’s tourism industry, Ivory also worked with us and the Bureau of Tourism on a project to make Palau a carbon neutral tourism destination.

During her undergrad years, Ivory spent time in Rwanda, visiting refugee camps and interviewing youth in order to fundraise money to sponsor the education of several hundred of the students through her university’s global service program. She returned to Rwanda several times to assist in a vocational training school program, where she helped with permaculture classes and taught guitar.

This experience taught her about the complexities of poverty alleviation and how to positively impact someone’s life. Her drive for helping others and love of the environment, led her to further her studies and learn about how tourism could be used as a tool for sustainable development. Coming from the islands of Palau, Ivory saw the impacts of both climate change and tourism on people and the environment. She wrote her dissertation on the land and tourism nexus in Palau. She believes that tourism done right can be a tool for sustainable development, with the potential to create livelihoods, celebrate cultural heritage and conserve life on our planet. 

Ivory brings her excitement and knowledge into managing Sustainable Travel International’s climate and resilience program, helping businesses and destinations measure, reduce, and offset their carbon footprint. Ivory holds a BA in International Communications from Walla Walla University and a MSc in Tourism, Environment and Development from King’s College London.

Connect with Ivory on LinkedIn.

Paul Bennett Headshot

Paul Bennett

Paul Bennett Headshot

Award-winning former journalist turned travel entrepreneur, Paul co-founded Context Travel, a network of 1500+ scholars and specialists who lead tours and other immersive experiences in 44 culture capitals worldwide. Context is a certified B-Corp and was a finalist for National Geographic’s Geotourism award. A blue water sailor with over 20,000 nautical miles under his keel, Bennett is a five-time Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist and member of Wendy Perrin’s WOW list. Writing credits include National Geographic, Smithsonian, Architectural Record, a Lowell Thomas award for travel writing, two time selection in the Best of American Writing series (travel and science writing), and author of 5 books on architecture and design. He currently lives on a sailboat with his wife and three daughters in Indonesia.

John Francis Board Member

John Francis

John Francis Board Member

As Vice President for Research, Conservation, and Exploration at National Geographic, John Francis directed the Society’s grant-making programs around the world as well as its sustainable tourism efforts. A marine biologist and National Geographic grantee, John began his career studying seals and sea lions on remote islands in North and South America. A film on his work led to his role as a producer of wildlife films, covering everything from chimps and tigers to whales and sharks. He continues to travel worldwide furthering National Geographic’s global research and conservation efforts.

Kaitlyn Brajcich

Kaitlyn-Brajcich-Headshot

Senior Manager, Communications & Training

A creative-minded optimist, Kaitlyn possesses a particular passion for using storytelling and visual communications to inspire meaningful change. Kaitlyn’s background includes a range tourism and nonprofit marketing experience, including strategy planning, content development, digital marketing, fundraising and graphic design.

Kaitlyn initially dipped her toes into the travel industry at the destination marketing organization, Visit Bellevue Washington, where she played a key role in developing and implementing the organization’s marketing strategies. In her “free time,” Kaitlyn also leads communications efforts for Kiwanis Camp Casey, a nonprofit summer camp for children with physical disabilities.

Prior to joining Sustainable Travel International, Kaitlyn spent time teaching English abroad in a remote village in Bali. This experience ignited her passion for global social impact and increased her awareness of the consequences of rapid tourism development and, subsequently, the importance of sustainable tourism management. Kaitlyn funnels her enthusiasm and expertise into managing Sustainable Travel International’s communications strategy and sharing the organization’s story of impact. Kaitlyn holds a BA in Public Relations from Gonzaga University.

Connect with Kaitlyn on LinkedIn.

Geoff Bolan

Geoff-Bolan-Headshot-2017-web-box

Geoff Bolan recently stepped down as the CEO of Sustainable Travel International, where he led the organization’s global efforts to combat threats like environmental degradation and economic inequality. His background includes more than 25 years of management, business development, and strategic planning on a global scale in both the non-profit and private sectors.

Geoff joined Sustainable Travel International in January 2016 as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer.  He has held multiple leadership roles with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), leading all commercial development for the Americas region, then running all aspects of U.S. operations.  He has also held management positions in the hospitality sector with TravelCLICK, McDonalds, and iExplore. He started his career in enterprise and ecotourism development with Conservation International, working primarily in Latin America.

Geoff holds his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BA in international relations from Tufts University. He speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

Paloma Zapata CEO Sustainable Travel International Headshot

Paloma Zapata

Paloma Zapata CEO Sustainable Travel International Headshot
Chief Executive Officer 

As CEO, Paloma leads the organization’s global efforts to maximize tourism’s contribution to conservation and development in order to protect destinations, preserve natural environments, and improve community well-being. With over 15 years of experience in sustainable tourism and economic development, Paloma has designed and implemented impactful initiatives and projects in 25 nations across the globe. Her work has ranged from addressing the shortcomings of the current tourism supply to deriving sustainable development strategies and formulating policies. Some of her achievements include contributing to the creation of sustainable tourism master plans for Belize, Bermuda, Colombia and Panama, as well as developing a plan to link disenfranchised communities in Cambodia’s Siam Reap region to the tourism value chain.

Paloma joined Sustainable Travel International in 2015 and previously served as Vice President. Prior to joining Sustainable Travel International, she served as a Senior Consultant for Tourism & Leisure consulting, leading numerous transformative tourism development projects around the world. Earlier in her career she worked for IBM’s microelectronics division as Staff Industrial Engineer and registered three patents.

Paloma holds a master’s in business administration and a postgraduate degree in tourism management from ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. She is a native speaker of Spanish and English.