OpenTravel Alliance Appoints Jeff ErnstFriedman as Executive Director

ErnstFriedman Tasked with Leading OpenTravel into New Partnerships and Initiatives as Need for Travel Industry Standards Remains Strong

Oakland, CA – March 25, 2020 – The OpenTravel Alliance, the not-for profit responsible for developing and maintaining interoperability for disparate systems in all verticals of the travel industry, has appointed Jeff ErnstFriedman as the new OpenTravel Executive Director. In this role, ErnstFriedman will be responsible for initiating key alliances for wider adoption of OpenTravel standards, managing new initiatives to address upcoming travel challenges and trends, and spearheading all organizational growth efforts, including expanding membership and coordinating OpenTravel messaging development.

Prior to OpenTravel, ErnstFriedman was a Program Manager at the Linux Foundation for more than half a dozen projects, including the OpenAPI Initiative, OpenHPC, Civil Infrastructure Platform, Tizen, and Code Aurora. He ran business governance, marketing and technical steering committee meetings charged with membership growth, retention and project evangelism. Previously, he worked with the Cloud Foundry Foundation, Cisco Security, Verisign and Dimension Data, providing strategic communications.

“Jeff possesses the experience that the board was seeking for the executive director role,” said Susanne Auinger, OpenTravel Board Chair. “His history of managing open-source projects has given him unique insight into the benefits of standards development and is therefore well-positioned to further OpenTravel’s interoperability messages. As the travel industry is facing the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be even more of a need for collaboration as we work to develop innovative solutions that will nurture the travel industry ecosystem. We’re excited to see how OpenTravel can further meet the needs of our members, and the travel industry at large, with Jeff’s direction and enthusiasm.”

OpenTravel recently announced a partnership with the International Inbound Travel Association (IITA) that provides new opportunities, including education and business growth, between the organizations and respective member companies. Additional partnerships will soon be announced, as well as the launch of work groups to address new travel trends. Strategic relationships are essential to spreading OpenTravel messages to the travel industry so that competitive and transformational solutions can be developed.

Greg Land, OpenTravel Board Member and IBM Global Segment Leader for Travel, said, “Now more than ever, interoperability across travel providers is going to be imperative in order to navigate this current crisis as well as to deliver the absolute best traveler experience. Jeff brings to OpenTravel technical knowledge, project management experience, and strong leadership skills that are needed to take us into the future. OpenTravel, with Jeff’s leadership, will play a key role in setting standards to drive innovation.”

“It’s certainly an interesting time to take on a role in an organization so uniquely positioned as OpenTravel,” noted Jeff ErnstFriedman, OpenTravel Executive Director. “The travel industry is undeniably facing the most significant threat it has ever seen. However, OpenTravel was founded two decades ago to solve specific business challenges, and we remain at the forefront of that conversation today. My goal is to take the history of collaboration and bring it to the next level so that our membership and partners can creatively solve our current challenges while we meet the ever-changing needs of travelers as the recovery begins. Allowing the entire travel ecosystem to come together and operate with a common set of standards enhances the customer experience, which is the best outcome for everyone.”


About OpenTravel Alliance

Founded in 1999 by travel companies, OpenTravel is a not-for-profit trade association focused on the creation of electronic message structures to facilitate communication between disparate systems in the global travel industry. Comprised of all industry segments, including air, hotel, car, rail, cruise, etc., OpenTravel is the only standards body for global, open, independent and mission-critical interoperability of travel e-commerce standards which allows for multi-language platforms to co-exist.

The mission of OpenTravel is to enable the future of travel by driving the evolving digital experience for consumers. The vision of OpenTravel is to be the source for the most adopted, cross-industry technology standards that enable business solutions for connectivity, driven by the travel community. OpenTravel is responsible for the technology that enables travel business partnerships to thrive creating, expanding, and driving the adoption of open, universal data specifications that carry billions of dollars in transactions through millions of electronic messages every year.

For more information on OpenTravel membership or new projects, please visit www.opentravel.org, or email info@opentravel.org.