Barbara Richardson
Brand USA Chair
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Barbara Richardson is the chief of external relations of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro), the nation's second largest transit system. Ms. Richardson's transportation career spans more than 25 years with much of it in public affairs, board management, branding, marketing, communications, and strategic planning.

A member of Metro's Executive Management Team, Ms. Richardson leads the agency's external relations strategies with key stakeholders, including public officials, government agencies, business organizations, civic groups, customers, and the media. She serves as management's liaison to Metro's 16-member Board of Directors, and oversees government relations, public relations, research, marketing and advertising, and customer service initiatives.

Ms. Richardson joined Washington Metro in 2010 as the Assistant General Manager for Customer Service, Communications and Marketing, where she led a number of initiatives, including the interior design of Metro's new railcars, an expanded customer research program, the introduction of social media and the launch of Metro Forward, a campaign that told the story of the rebuilding of Metro.

Prior to joining Metro and being a marketing consultant, Ms. Richardson was with Amtrak for 12 years, where she served as vice president for marketing and sales; chief of staff; vice president of marketing and communications for the Northeast Corridor; and senior director of communications of the Northeast Corridor.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Richardson also served as Director of Public Affairs for the Federal Railroad Administration, Director of Communications for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and Director of Public Information for the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.

Ms. Richardson is also actively involved in the national travel industry, and regional business community. Appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Ms. Richardson is the Chairman of Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States. She is a past National Chair of the U.S. Travel Association and a member of the Destination DC Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce Board, the Washington Board of Trade's Transportation and Land Use Committee, and the Women's Transportation Seminar.


Barbara Richardson
Brand USA Chair

Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, was established by the Travel Promotion Act as the nation's first public-private partnership to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and to communicate U.S. travel policies and procedures to worldwide travelers. The organization’s mission is to increase international visitation to the USA in order to fuel the U.S. economy and enhance the image of the United States worldwide. Formed as the Corporation for Travel Promotion in 2010, the public-private entity began operations in May 2011 and does business as Brand USA. According to studies by Oxford Economics, over the past five years Brand USA's marketing initiatives have helped welcome 5.4 million incremental visitors to the USA, benefiting the U.S. economy with more than $38 billion in total economic impact and supporting, on average, more than 51,000 incremental jobs a year.

For industry or partner information about Brand USA, visit To discover more about the USA and the boundless diversity of American travel experiences and authentic, rich culture, please visit Brand USA’s consumer website and follow Visit The USA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.