Caroline Beteta, president and chief executive of Visit California, has… (Visit California )
The top tourism official for California is also leading the nation's first coordinated media campaign to promote tourism to the U.S.
Caroline Beteta, president and chief executive of Visit California, the nonprofit group dedicated to marketing the Golden State, was named interim chief executive of Brand USA, a $150-million media campaign to promote the U.S. to travelers worldwide.
Beteta replaces the previous chief executive, Jim Evans, who stepped down Friday. She will also continue to retain her Visit California posts.
The Brand USA board of directors, a panel appointed by the U.S. commerce secretary that includes the heads of state tourism panels and hotel company executives, among others, elected Beteta to the CEO post and chair elect, effective Oct. 1.
Brand USA is an international campaign launched last month that features singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash and an anthem called "Land of Dreams."
The U.S. Travel Assn. initiated the campaign with the support of several large tourism groups and travel businesses. The campaign will be financed by a $14 fee charged to each international visitor who registers for a visa to enter the U.S., plus donations from private businesses such as hotels and theme parks.
"Brand USA began as just an idea a little more than a year ago, and I have been fully committed to its long-term viability and success, and remain committed to those goals today," Beteta said in a statement.
Prior to her current position with Visit California, Beteta served as vice president of E. Del Smith and Co. (now Carpi, Clay and Smith), a Washington, D.C., public affairs firm. Early in her career, Beteta worked as a legislative aide to then-Gov. George Deukmejian and two former members of the state legislature.
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