IAATO Announces Organizational Changes, New Executive Director

The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) today announced a restructuring of its Secretariat, reestablishing the post of Executive Director, with Dr. Kim Crosbie named to the position.

The announcement follows approval by IAATO Members of the reorganization, and the appointment of Dr. Crosbie – currently the association’s Operations Director – by the IAATO Executive Committee. The changes were precipitated by the announcement by Administrative Director Steve Wellmeier last October that he would be leaving IAATO at the end of his contract period, 30 June, 2013.

In making the announcement, IAATO Executive Committee Chair Ted Cheeseman thanked the Membership for their support of the restructuring, noting, “Kim Crosbie’s many years of experience in Antarctic tourism, along with her expertise in the region’s political, environmental and maritime issues, make her the ideal candidate to lead our 22-year-old organization.”

Working in the polar regions since 1991, initially as a post-graduate at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, UK, Dr. Crosbie worked in the Antarctic Peninsula researching wildlife and human interactions for her Ph.D. She then worked full-time for various IAATO Member companies leading expeditions to both the Antarctic and Arctic, before joining IAATO on a part-time basis as Environmental Operations Manager in 2005.

As Operations Director, Dr. Crosbie has managed the organization’s strategic planning process, including developing sustainable tourism growth management strategies. She also directs IAATO’s efforts with the Antarctic Treaty Parties and other government bodies relevant to Antarctic tourism, including the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCM), International Maritime Administration (IMO), Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and other international forums, and contributed to and co-authored scientific articles on Antarctic environmental and tourism issues.

Dr. Crosbie will oversee the IAATO Secretariat, which will continue to include Environmental Manager Claudia Holgate and Officer Manager Laura Goldstein, along with a new Administrative Officer that will assume most of the duties of the departing Steve Wellmeier. A search is currently underway for the new position, which will be based at the association’s home office in Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

On behalf of the association, Ted Cheeseman also thanked Steve Wellmeier for his work the past five years and during the current transition period. Following his participation at the upcoming IAATO Annual Meeting in Punta Arenas, Chile, April 22-25 and fulfillment of his contract period, he will move to Dallas, Texas to pursue a new career opportunity.

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