Gregory Miller is the Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). Gregory is a responsible tourism advocate and trained environmental scientist who believes in working globally, acting locally, and protecting our precious natural and cultural resources. He joined CREST in 2019, bringing to the organization a global track record of results in sustainable travel and recreation, biodiversity conservation, and policy development.
Prior to CREST, Gregory worked as a global consultant, providing expertise and leadership on projects focused on biodiversity conservation, climate change, corporate social responsibility, and ecotourism. Before that, he was President & CEO of NatureServe and previously served for 12 years as the President of American Hiking Society. He also led a distinguished 16-year executive career as Vice President for the Andes/Southern Cone Region at The Nature Conservancy, where he developed the Conservancy’s biodiversity project portfolio for South America, oversaw global ecotourism programs, and co-managed the Latin America and Caribbean Parks in Peril program.
A native of California, Gregory is fluent in Spanish and English. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Connecticut; was awarded a Science, Engineering, and Diplomacy post-doctoral fellowship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Botany. In addition to his executive experience, Gregory worked for several years as a naturalist in South America, served as an environmental advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and has held a lifelong commitment to environmental stewardship and exploring the outdoors responsibly.
Martha Honey is Co-Founder and Director Emeritus of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). Martha led CREST as Executive Director for 16 years before transitioning to her project-based role of Director Emeritus in 2019.
Over the last two decades, Martha has written and lectured widely on ecotourism, impact tourism, cruise and resort tourism, coastal and marine tourism, climate change, and certification issues. Her books include Coastal Tourism, Sustainability, and Climate Change in the Caribbean, Vol. 1 & 2, and Marine Tourism, Climate Change, and Resilience in the Caribbean, Vol. 1 & 2 (Business Expert Press, 2017), Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? (Island Press, 1999 and 2008), and Ecotourism and Certification: Setting Standards in Practice (Island Press, 2002).
She is Executive Producer of CREST’s film, Caribbean ‘Green’ Travel: Your Choices Make a Difference, released in May 2016. Most recently, she has been an editor and author of a new study on cruise tourism, published in Spanish as Por el Mar de las Antillas: 50 Años de Turismo de Cruceros en el Caribe and in English as Cruise Tourism in the Caribbean: Selling Sunshine. Previously, Martha worked for 20 years as a journalist based in East Africa and Central America. She holds a Ph.D. in African history from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
Samantha Bray is the Managing Director at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), providing administrative, research, and consulting support for a wide-range of sustainable tourism projects. A native of the rural Missouri, she grew up with an appreciation for the charm of small-town communities and the unspoiled environment. This, combined with the opportunity to travel internationally and throughout the United States during her childhood, had a profound impact on Samantha's view of global citizenship and the power of sense of place. Also a lover of performing and visual arts and their contribution to culture, Samantha earned a degree in Entertainment Management, with an emphasis in performing arts management, from Missouri State University.
During her time at Missouri State, Samantha also had the opportunity to become one of the world's first students of geotourism. She went on to apprentice under Jonathan Tourtellot, the director of the National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations, and obtain a Master of Tourism Administration from the George Washington University School of Business, with a concentration in sustainable destination development. She is a strong advocate for sustaining and enhancing our world’s cultures and environments through travel, and using tourism as a mechanism for community empowerment. Samantha is a trained Climate Reality Leader.
Rebekah Stewart is the Director of Communications at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), where she oversees communications across channels and manages media and policy advocacy initiatives. Prior to joining CREST in 2018, Rebekah oversaw policy communications at the Tahirih Justice Center, a nonprofit that serves immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence. Before that, she was the Senior Associate for Growth Strategy and Development in the Americas region at Teach For All, a global education nonprofit. Her experience in communications and international affairs has included roles in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors.Rebekah is a passionate advocate for responsible travel, and her perspective has been shaped both by her travels around the world and by her experience growing up in a tourism destination on California’s Central Coast. Her international experience includes time spent living and working in Luanda, Angola; Santiago, Chile; and Geneva, Switzerland. Rebekah holds an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a B.A. from Occidental College. She speaks Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.
Daniela is a tour guide and a cofounder of Eco alterNATIVE Tours, a Copper Canyon eco tourism tour company focusing on Cultural Tours. Originally from California, she worked with several community-based organizations such as Lideres Campesinas and House Farm Workers in California. She also collaborated with various organizations in the state of Chihuahua to produce a number of social documentaries on the Tarahumara culture. Currently, she is leading CREST's project on community-based tourism in Chihuahua, México. She is also an active member in a local Creel tourism committee “Pueblos Magicos” as the Education and Research representative. She holds BA in cultural anthropology from the University of California Berkeley and received her Masters degree in Chihuahua from the National School of Anthropology and History and CIESAS. Her thesis work focused on Tarahumara indigenous development. Daniela is fluent in Spanish and English.
Kelsey Frenkiel is a Program Manager at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), where she manages fundraising activities and supports research and projects. She attended the College of William & Mary for her undergraduate studies, where she developed a passion for interdisciplinary studies involving the environment and social impact. During this time, she completed archaeological field work and studied prehistorical resource depression in French Polynesia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, magna cum laude, in 2016. To pursue an interest in wildlife, she then obtained a Master of Science in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom, completing her degree in September 2017.
During her time in Oxford, Kelsey studied the intersection between ecotourism and primate conservation. She carried out field work in Java, Indonesia for her dissertation research, where she learned both of the positive potential of responsible travel for communities and the environment and the destructive potential of unsustainable forms of tourism. She is passionate about the sustainable tourism industry and its intersection with wildlife conservation, along with its more holistic impacts on communities, visitors, and the landscape.
Gabriela Cicenia is a PhD candidate in International Economics and Tourism at the University of Valencia (Spain). As part of her program, she is doing a fellowship at The George Washington University during the summer of 2017. While in Washington, she is also interning at the Center for Responsible Travel.
Many years ago, she decided to travel to Spain to study tourism and realized through her studies that her birth country (Ecuador) had a lot to offer to the world. At only 16 years old, she thought Sustainable Tourism could be a way for a developing country to improve societal needs and at the same time create jobs for local people.
After she finished her undergraduate degree, she returned to Ecuador to search for her next steps. After working in the country for a while, she decided to continue her studies in Spain in order to be more prepared. While she was studying her Master’s she learned about Planning of Tourism, and she began to understand subjects like Governance, Sustainable Tourism, Statistics, and Tourism Policy.
In 2014 she started her PhD in Valencia. Now, as an International Economics and Tourism Ph.D. student, she is extremely interested in gaining experience in the field of Sustainable and Responsible Travel. An internship at CREST is providing her the opportunity to apply this knowledge in an international organization, as well as develop the communication, organization, and research skills she has acquired through her work experience.
Maureen became interested in sustainable tourism during her study abroad in China. She spent the summer that year working at a small hotel in rural China, the Linden Centre, that practiced sustainable tourism. After graduating from Middlebury College, she spent the next 4 years managing international recruiting events and traveled around the world for work and pleasure. In 2017, Maureen moved to Battambang, Cambodia where she managed a small bicycle tour company called Soksabike and helped the business transition to local ownership. Maureen is now a candidate for a Master in Tourism Administration at George Washington University with a focus on Sustainable Destination Management.
Maureen hopes to work on overarching policy and programs at the country level that will help support sustainable tourism development. One of her other passions in the field is ensuring that local entrepreneurs that are vital to the success of responsible tourism have the support and training they need to access these markets and effectively manage and grow their businesses. Maureen is excited to join CREST as an intern and to gain practical experience on different research and consulting projects that contribute to these goals.
Ellen Rugh is a Program Manager at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), where she supports consultancies, publications, and fieldwork through research. She is a LEED-accredited Green Associate and has recently completed a dual M.A. degree in International Affairs from American University in Washington, DC and in Natural Resources & Sustainable Development from the University for Peace in Costa Rica.
After completing an undergraduate thesis on ecotourism in Costa Rica and Panama during her years at Penn State University, Ellen’s academic and professional goals immediately began to focus on sustainable tourism. While studying and living in Costa Rica, Ellen had the opportunity to work in a sustainable luxury hotel, learning how to champion sustainability as the cornerstone of a successful business model. Additionally, Ellen continues to work closely with CREST’s partner, the Destination Stewardship Center, where she supports research on exemplary case studies of destination stewardship councils around the globe.
Grace Klopp is the Communications Intern at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). After graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature and a minor in History, Grace moved to San Jose, Costa Rica for three years to work with the global nonprofit Young Life International. While living in Costa Rica, she not only had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Central America and the Caribbean, but she also had the chance to observe and interact with countless travelers and tourist groups. She soon noticed that while some of these groups used their travel experiences to benefit the local populations, others did irreparable damage to the local culture, community, and ecosystems. Her years abroad thus sparked a deep passion for sustainable tourism and bore within her the desire to further explore the potential role of tourism in the development of healthy communities around the world.
Grace currently lives in Florida, where she is pursuing a master's degree in International Community Development from Southeastern University and working as a writer and website editor for a boutique travel company. Through her education and experience in living and traveling abroad, Grace has developed a strong belief that responsible tourism provides individuals, businesses, and countries with the unique opportunity to be forces of positive change in the world.
Muhamad Rifki is a Program & Research Intern at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) and a postgraduate student of international sustainable tourism management at Monash University in Australia. He is a travel and tourism professional, and he hopes to pursue a career as a tourism consultant and sustainable tourism researcher. He has a passion for finding opportunities for economic benefit in all aspects of a local community. With over ten years of experience in the tourism and travel industry, he is currently expanding his expertise as a sustainable tourism consultant and researcher in Melbourne, Australia.
One of Rifki’s recent projects included conducting a leadership training on sustainable projects at Monash University in conjunction with the Green Steps program. He also working on a community development project with Wanderlust Indonesia in Bandung. His interests include sustainable practices in remote areas and at a local community level. His focus is on the intersection of sustainable tourism and poverty alleviation, cultural heritage protection, and sustainable tourism in emerging economies.
Apart from his future planning and past experiences, Rifki is involved with his local community’s Instagram account (@urangpurwakarta), where he actively promotes tourism opportunities and destinations in his hometown. Moreover, he loves traveling, socializing, and photography.
Arturo Silva is a graduate sociologist from the University of Costa Rica. His research thesis was a case study of the environmental impacts caused by aggressive tourism development in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Specifically, he focused on the appropriation of drinking water sources for tourism real estate purposes to the detriment of local coastal communities. To conduct this work, he received a research grant from the Institute of Social Research of the University of Costa Rica.
Arturo currently works as a reader of undergraduate theses at the Distance State University of Costa Rica. He was the producer of a short documentary on the impacts of unregulated mass tourism. He has conducted research in the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Costa Rica as well as in Panama. His areas of interest are local responses to global processes of accumulation in developing countries, with tourism as a mode of livelihood for local communities in peripheral regions of the world. He hopes to bring attention to the social movements in defense of local culture and public natural resources.
Chris Gillespie is a Program & Research Intern at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). His passion for environmentally and culturally responsible travel was formed through meaningful experiences studying and working abroad. While engaging with local people as an anthropological researcher in Tamil Nadu, India, he witnessed the detrimental effect of burgeoning mass tourism and rapid development on the preservation of local cultural traditions and customary family structures. As a high school English teacher in Northern Thailand, he experienced firsthand the dramatic impact that mass commercial travel had on traditional livelihoods and land use patterns in Chiang Rai Province. Chris built upon these travel experiences and his work as an educator to later become a public school teacher in New York City and a housing coordinator for an international language academy in Boston.
Chris is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Global Environmental Policy at American University’s School of International Service. He is fascinated by understanding and contextualizing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the developing world. He hopes to further explore how responsible travel can be used to ameliorate the rampant destruction of the world’s bio-diverse forest habitats while providing sustainable livelihoods for forest dwelling communities. When Chris is not researching forest conservation policy or responsible travel, he enjoys playing soccer, hiking in Rock Creek Park, and spending time with friends. With global tourism only expected to proliferate further in the coming decades, he’s optimistic that responsible travel centered on ethical cooperation with local people and on environmentally sustainable standards will help, rather than hinder, the preservation of earth’s precious natural ecosystems.
Jill is the director of CARE for the Cape & Islands, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor of Science in Food, Hotel and Tourism Management from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work in the hotel industry brought her to Boston and Cape Cod 25 years ago where she fell in love with the ocean. She was Sales Director for Group Tour Magazine representing New England and Eastern Canada for fifteen years. Jill is Past President and Scholarship Chair of Cape Cod Hospitality Marketing Association.
She founded and led Single Volunteers of Cape Cod for five years, connecting volunteers with local nonprofit organizations. A growing concern for the wellbeing of her surroundings sent her back to school to earn her Master of Tourism Administration, Sustainable Destination Management from The George Washington University. Her degree and an internship with CREST led her to found CARE (Creating A Responsible Environment) for the Cape and Islands in 2012, a Travelers' Philanthropy program committed to engaging others in the stewardship and long-term sustainability of our region. CREST is its fiscal sponsor.
Jill is an Adjunct Instructor at Cape Cod Community College, co-chair of her town’s Recycling and Solid Waste Committee, an advocate to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, and most recently, Jill has been trained as a Climate Reality Leader through Al Gore's Climate Reality Project.