Organization: Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)

Location: Alexandria, VA

Express Interest

About Global Business Travel Association:

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 7,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually.

GBTA is the source for critical information in the business travel industry. For more than 40 years, the association has dedicated itself to the professional development of its members and the advancement of the business travel management community through advocacy, education and training and networking opportunities.

Through the efforts of its member committees, volunteers and professional staff, GBTA monitors developments in worldwide business travel and provides time-sensitive research and critical industry information. The association also takes the industry’s story to the media and the public, and acts as a key advisor to the industry’s interests on Capitol Hill. Committed to the advancement of the business travel profession, GBTA offers numerous education programs, training and certifications and holds an annual international convention.

Making GBTA succeed is a highly engaged and motivated board of directors, 9 standing committees and dedicated chapter leaders. GBTA acts as the parent organization of more than 40 US chapters that provide regionally specific services to their members and work to support the business travel industry at the grass-roots level. The association also serves the global business travel community through GBTA CanadaGBTA Australia/ New ZealandGBTA MexicoGBTA Europe, and GBTA South America.

GBTA delivers world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts.

For more information, please visit

The Opportunity:

The Senior Vice President, Research and Professional Development (SVP) will plan, lead, design, implement and evaluate GBTA’s strategic initiatives to grow, package and deliver innovative learning, curricula and research to GBTA members. The SVP will lead world-class, industry-leading education programs and research efforts for GBTA members and the business travel industry.

S/he will provide strategic leadership and expertise in the development and implementation of professional development, learning and research activities/projects for the organization in all regions. The SVP will work closely with the members and volunteer community as well as staff (specifically communications, marketing, government relations and global operations) to orchestrate professional development and research offerings. This leader will collaborate on overall strategic initiatives to grow GBTA revenues and membership worldwide.

Reporting to Mike McCormick, GBTA’s Executive Director, the SVP will provide the overall education perspective and research offerings for the global organization. This highly visible position, both within GBTA and within the larger business travel professional communities, will make significant contributions and facilitate change. This is an excellent opportunity for someone who wants to make a difference while developing positions and information that can improve education and have an impact on the business travel profession.

As a key member of the senior management team, the SVP is responsible for leading GBTA’s efforts to determine the current state and future roadmap of professional development for the business travel profession. S/he will identify and implement instructional methodologies and technologies that enhance learning effectiveness, experience and reach (e.g. assessments, exercises, gamification and other innovative elements to drive knowledge retention and increase training effectiveness).

The SVP will oversee a team of 10 professional development, training and research professionals. In partnership with the team, the SVP will work closely with GBTA’s educational certifications to improve existing programs and propose new ones as needed. This includes developing key alliances and contacts both within GBTA’s member community and with other relevant organizations as needed.

A collaborative and communicative leader, the SVP will be responsible for integrating GBTA’s professional development offerings, including education and research functions, developing statistical research programs to assess and help evaluate trends, developments and the dynamics of the education and training of business travel professionals and the efficacy of service delivery. This requires developing, analyzing and managing databases as well as related management systems, providing insight and reports, support for professional certification of the business travel professional.

Additional responsibilities of the SVP include, but are not limited to:

  • Fostering a culture and framework of innovation and excellence through effective training, mentoring, and performance evaluations, leading by example;
  • Collaborating with senior staff and other departments on various strategic initiatives, including the promotion and marketing of learning activities as well as the GBTA Annual Convention;
  • Identifying opportunities and changes in the business travel profession and learning environments as well as adjusting the organization’s initiatives and processes accordingly;
  • Managing the overall operations of the learning function including research, professional development and training; and
  • Serving as a staff liaison to committees, task forces and other strategic initiatives.

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

Building Relationships and Using Influence

The SVP must establish rapport and cultivate relationships across all levels of the organization. It is imperative that s/he fosters an atmosphere of collaboration and partnership at multiple levels with varied constituencies including GBTA’s Board of Directors, global members, volunteer leaders, senior leadership team and staff. The SVP will be a catalyst for change and growth who inspires others to think entrepreneurially and inject new ideas. S/he will have a strong working relationship with key leaders and will be a proactive communicator at all times. S/he will have an inspirational approach to building collaboration and buy-in and generating support and engagement from global leaders. This individual will foster trust and will possess the ability to manage through change with flexibility and poise.

Expertise of Education and Research Products

An innovative leader, the SVP will have experience developing programs and services to educate and engage members. S/he will be a leader in the industry, understanding the dynamics and delivery of education products and training. S/he has a measurable track record of success providing insights, reports and evaluating trends. The SVP will understand how to package and deliver education, research and professional development in new, creative ways. The SVP will have demonstrated experience creating a roadmap of education and research for an organization. S/he has extraordinary written and verbal skills and the credibility and poise to present to a wide range of stakeholders.

A Change Leader

The SVP will be a change agent with the ability to successfully lead GBTA through a period of professional development transformation. S/he will be a strategic and visionary leader who will establish a creative yet practical course of action for building a refined learning and education strategy for GBTA that reflects the members needs and requests. The SVP will be an assertive leader with experience effecting change in a global business or association. S/he is a creative thinker who effectively and constructively will lead GBTA to consider new and innovative approaches to educating and engaging new and existing members.

Strategic & Innovative Leader with Strong Execution Skills

The SVP will have the ability to set learning and knowledge priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results. A tactical executor, s/he will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive decisions and achieve strategic objectives. The SVP will be a strategic and results-oriented leader who can translate business and operations plans into learning and education strategies. S/he is a visionary leader, and a highly collaborative colleague; someone who can enlist the support of the entire organization behind a learning strategy.

Passion for the Mission

The SVP will have a passion for GBTA’s mission with a genuine interest in global business travel. S/he will embrace the GBTA culture while continuing to innovate to improve and strengthen member education, products, programs and services. The SVP will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

A Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a related field is preferred.


Marissa Martin and Chartise Clark of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials here or email Marissa and Chartise directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

GBTA is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information, visit