Samantha Bray is 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 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 Bray'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, she earned a degree in entertainment management, with an emphasis in performing arts management, from Missouri State University.
During her time at Missouri State, Bray 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. Bray is a trained Climate Reality Leader.