Dr. Maryse Robert, a Canadian national, is director of the Department of Economic and Social Development at the Organization of American States (OAS). Promoting inclusive economic growth, competitiveness and innovation in OAS member states is the core mission of her department. She leads the OAS team serving as the technical secretariat for the Inter-American Tourism Congress of Ministers. This year’s edition (Barbados, Sept. 3-4) focuses on the theme of “Tourism Competitiveness: An Essential Component of Sustainability.” The OAS, along with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Secretariat of Central American Tourism Integration, the global NGO Sustainable Travel International, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and the United States Government through its Permanent Mission to the OAS, launched on March 27, 2014 the Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas (SDAA), an initiative created to help tourism destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean safeguard their natural and cultural assets, while enhancing the life of communities and securing a vibrant regional economy. Dr. Robert has authored numerous studies on trade and development-related issues. She holds a Ph.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University) and a Master's degree in applied economics from HEC-Montreal (Canada). Before joining the OAS, she worked on trade and development at the World Bank and the United Nations, and in the private sector.