The American Gaming Association (AGA) announced that respected Washington association professional Geoff Freeman has been appointed president and CEOGeoff Freeman effective July 1, 2013.

Freeman brings 16 years of association leadership and public affairs experience to the AGA, including successfully guiding a wide array of complex industry issue campaigns, reshaping and repositioning industries and helping to pass key legislation.

Widely recognized as a passionate and strategic advocate with a strong association leadership background, Freeman joins the AGA after seven years at the U.S. Travel Association, most recently serving as executive vice president and COO. During his tenure at U.S. Travel, Freeman was instrumental in repositioning the industry to become a leading political force in Washington by developing new capabilities that strengthened its relevance, galvanized the industry’s leadership and enacted critical legislation to increase travel to and within the United States.

“We are excited to welcome Geoff to the AGA and look forward to working with him in his new role as president and CEO,” said Richard Haddrill, chairman of Bally Technologies and chairman of the AGA’s Board of Directors. “He is both a thoughtful and energetic leader who already understands our industry, has a deep public policy background and an extensive network of relationships in Washington, and has the skills to build coalitions and execute grass roots campaigns.”

Freeman led operations and set the strategic vision for U.S. Travel while also overseeing the association’s primary divisions: public affairs and government relations, meetings and membership and operations.

“I am honored by the opportunity to build on AGA’s many successes and its effective representation of the vibrant gaming industry,” said Freeman. “As gaming grows around the globe, I look forward to strengthening our partnership with other aspects of the travel community and advancing policies that can empower our industry to thrive for years to come.”

Freeman is preceded at the AGA by Frank J. Fahrenkopf, who announced earlier this year he was stepping down after leading the organization since its founding more than 17 years ago. After June 30, Fahrenkopf will be retained as a consultant to the AGA, through at least the end of 2013, to assist with the transition.