Tori Emerson Barnes serves as Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy at U.S. Travel Association.  Barnes, who was previously a top lobbyist for General Motors, joined U.S. Travel in November of 2017 as Senior Vice President of Government Relations. In that time, she secured some impressive legislative achievements for the organization, as well as sustained engagement with the country’s top policymakers.

Barnes will continue to lead U.S. Travel Association’s government relations team, overseeing the group’s critical policy efforts. These include upgrading America’s air travel infrastructure and improving connectivity nationwide, promoting common-sense policies that effectively balance security and travel facilitation, and protecting Open Skies agreements.

Prior to joining U.S. Travel in 2017, Barnes was an integral member of General Motors’ federal affairs team for more than fourteen years, playing a crucial role in strengthening GM’s presence on Capitol Hill, leading the company’s tax policy and trade strategies and managing political operations. She most recently served as Executive Director of Federal Affairs, and managed a diverse portfolio that included tax, trade, fuel economy, transportation, pension issues and political operations. Previously, she served as a Congressional Liaison for the Republican National Committee and as Director of Fundraising and Events for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s National Capital Chapter.

Barnes is on the board of the Congressional Women’s Softball Game (CWSG), and coaches the Members of Congress team, which plays an annual game against women in the press to raise money for the Young Survival Coalition, an organization that works with young women facing breast cancer.

Barnes graduated from George Mason University, and also attended Miami University of Ohio.

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By Tori Emerson Barnes
Friday Check-In

Friday Check-In | January 17, 2020

January 17, 2020

This is the first Friday Check-In of 2020, and we'll cover several events taking place over the next few weeks.

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Signs of Spring for Trade?

January 15, 2020

The U.S. travel community stands strongly behind healthy and robust trade because of its clear benefits for travel and tourism’s ability to grow and create domestic jobs. 

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Friday Check-In

Friday Check-In | December 20, 2019

December 20, 2019

In the final Friday Check-In of the year, we share an update on Brand USA reauthorization, the latest on USMCA, and a preview of National Plan for Vacation Day.

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November 22, 2019
Friday Check-In

In this week’s Friday Check-In, we’ll provide an update from our fall Board of Directors meeting, discuss the latest steps toward the renewal of Brand USA, and share how we’re helping America get REAL ID ready ahead of next year’s winter holiday travel season.


November 22, 2019
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Customs and Border Protection is planning a major move to streamline the application process of some of its trusted traveler programs.

November 14, 2019
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With the year rapidly drawing to a close, it is more important than ever for Congress to work quickly to include Brand USA’s reauthorization in must-pass legislation this year.

November 01, 2019
Friday Check-In

In this week’s Friday Check-In, we cover our role in two important congressional hearings that help advance our industry’s legislative agenda, as well as our position on the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.


September 26, 2019
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U.S. Travel applauds the cooperation between the U.S. and Japan: what’s good for trade relations is good for travel, especially in a market as lucrative to the United States as Japan.

September 20, 2019
Friday Check-In

In this week’s Friday Check-In, you’ll learn about our efforts to renew Brand USA, and hear about several important meetings that have taken place in recent days.