Director, National Travel and Tourism Office
United States Department of Commerce
Isabel Hill is Director of the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries at the U.S. Department of Commerce and Chairs the Tourism Committee for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
As Deputy Director for Policy and Planning, Ms. Hill and her team work to promote policies that foster the competitiveness of U.S. travel and tourism industries, in collaboration with the private sector and federal agencies. Her team is responsible for developing a national tourism strategy, informed by the private sector Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, and by 17 federal agencies through the Tourism Policy Council, both under the leadership of the Secretary of Commerce.
Ms. Hill also represents U.S. in bilateral discussions to remove barriers to trade in tourism services, and in multilateral fora on issues of importance to the global travel and tourism industry. She leads the U.S. team of the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade Tourism Working Group and represents the U.S. in OECD and APEC.
Ms. Hill was director of the U.S. International Tourism Promotion Program demonstration project, which won the Odyssey Award from the U.S. Travel Association. Based on the platform “You’ve Seen the Films, Now Visit The Set,” the campaign was noted for its innovative partnerships with the entertainment industry, comprehensive strategic and accountability research, and high return on investment.
Previous to her federal service, Ms. Hill was the Director of Policy and Business Development for the South Carolina Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism. Her Division included the offices of Heritage Tourism Development, Business Development, and Tourism Research. She and her team created the first sustainable tourism framework for development incentives. Ms. Hill also served as the Film Commissioner for the State of South Carolina. During her tenure, this program generated over $1 billion dollars from location filming.
Ms. Hill has been honored to receive the Silver Medal Award from the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the South Carolina Governor’s Award for the Arts, and the Crystal Vision Award from the Association of Film Commissioners International. She holds an MA in Media from the University of South Carolina, and a BFA from New York University, a certificate in Destination Marketing and Management from George Washington University. She also is a graduate of the South Carolina Executive Institute and a Toll Fellow at the Council of State Governments.