Speakers and moderators

Russ Hedge


For nearly 30 years, Russ Hedge has been serving the youth travel sector and leading by example. Since 2000, Russ has been the CEO of Hostelling International USA (HI USA). During his tenure, Russ led the successful 3-year merger of 26 HI USA Councils and its headquarters into one unified hostelling organization. With a new organizational structure and consolidated assets in place, Russ leads a $50 million organization in fulfilling the HI USA mission. He is a sought-after speaker for international events on topics ranging from sustainability, to youth travel, to impact travel.

Currently, Russ serves on the following Boards:

  • US Travel Association – At Large seat
  • WYSE Travel Confederation – Chair
  • Alliance for International Exchange
  • US Travel and Tourism Advisory BoardRuss’s early career focused on economics and finance at the US Economic

Development Administration and the US International Trade Administration, with stints at the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Senate Budget Committee. His career with HI USA began in 1985, when he served as a volunteer to help develop what later became HI Washington DC hostel. He went on to serve as the Executive Director of HI USA’s Washington DC-area chapter before becoming the Chief Operating Officer of HI USA, then CEO.

A native of Wisconsin, Hedge received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and his Master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.

Why attend

  • 200+ attendees
  • Up to 80 pre-selected buyers
  • Pre-scheduled business appointments
  • 91% senior management attendees
  • Industry seminars and workshops
  • Networking events