Tourism & Cruises

Cruise group names a new president after long void

Cindy D’Aoust was named president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association Monday. C’Aoust has been serving as acting CEO of the trade group since August.
Cindy D’Aoust was named president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association Monday. C’Aoust has been serving as acting CEO of the trade group since August. CLIA

Following a seven-month void, the Cruise Lines International Association announced Monday that acting CEO, Cindy D’Aoust, will move into a permanent position as president and CEO of the trade group.

D’Aoust has been serving as acting CEO since the previous president, longtime Coast Guard official Thomas Ostebo, stepped down in August after a month in the job. D’Aoust has been with CLIA since 2014 as executive vice president of membership and operations and has worked in the tourism industry for two decades in varied leadership positions.

Ostebo’s departure, for unspecified personal reasons, left a gap in the trade group.

Former CEO Christine Duffy left in December 2014 to head Carnival Cruise Line. After a several-month search, Ostebo assumed the role in July after retiring from 38 years of military service.

Ostebo told the Miami Herald at the time: “I told my wife last night: ‘After day two, I feel like I’ve been here two years already.’”

A month later, he was out.

Following Ostebo’s departure, CLIA did not specify a time line for finding a replacement. In the meantime, D’Aoust assumed the role.

“Now more than ever, it is important for the cruise industry to collaborate and create a stronger global voice,” D’Aoust said.

Her appointment to a permanent president position coincides with SeaTrade, the cruise industry’s largest annual meeting that 11,000 people, CEOs from 60 ocean and river cruise lines, as well technical suppliers and 180 world ports. The conference takes place this week in Fort Lauderdale for the first time while the Miami Beach Convention Center undergoes renovations.

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