Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Carlson Companies, remains the most powerful woman in the travel industry, according to Travel Agent magazine, which has released its annual list of influential women.
Nelson currently oversees one of the largest privately held corporations in America, which is comprised of hotels, cruise ships, restaurants, travel agencies and marketing companies operating in more than 140 countries. In addition, she serves on the boards of Exxon-Mobil Corporation and Qwest Communications International.
Currently on the Board of Governors of the World Economic Forum, she has led that organization`s discussion of the global travel and tourism industry in Davos, Switzerland since 1997. Nelson served as National Chair of the Travel Industry Association of America in 2000, and served as a board member of the USA`s National Tourism Organization from 1996-1998. In 1996, she was a delegate to the White House Conference on Tourism.
Nelson holds the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship from the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and currently serves on the International Advisory Council. She has also served on the advisory board of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.