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News | April 2, 2024

Highlights of GovTravels 2024

Color Guard at GovTravels 2024.
SLIDESHOW | 16 images | GovTravels 2024 Color Guard at GovTravels 2024.

On February 28, 2024, the Defense Travel Management Office and our co-sponsor the National Defense Transportation Association, wrapped up another successful three-day GovTravels Symposium with over 1,125 attendees from across the U.S. Government and the commercial travel industry.

This year’s event centered on the theme, “The Future of Government Travel: Trends in Sustainability, Innovation, and Evolving Technologies.” Participants examined a wide range of issues impacting the Government’s multi-billion-dollar commercial travel enterprise through stakeholder meetings, briefings, and networking. Notable speakers this year included:

  • Mr. Steven Parker, Esq., Chief Innovation Officer, Transportation Security Administration. Mr. Parker discussed his team’s work to enhance TSA's innovation capacity by connecting, enabling, and incorporating innovative technology and processes throughout TSA and the greater transportation security ecosystem.
  • Ms. Rita Visser, Director Global Travel Sourcing & GPO, Oracle. Ms. Visser forecasted how travel technology and programs will evolve by 2030 and beyond to predict traveler needs and offer flexible, personal options.
  • Dr. Amir Bagherpour, Managing Director, Accenture Federal Services. Dr. Bagherpour discussed the impact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have on Government travel by simplifying routine processes and fielded questions about the technology, dispelling some myths, and explaining how AI can be used safely.
  • Ms. Katy Newhouse, Director of Sustainable Operations, Supply Chain, White House Council on Environmental Quality, Office of the Chief of Sustainability. Ms. Newhouse discussed the Biden-Harris Administration's new guidelines that make Federal employee business travel cleaner, save taxpayer dollars, and accelerate America’s clean transportation future.
  • Mr. Robert Tappan, Managing Director, International Biometrics + Identity Association. Mr. Tappan discussed how the pandemic generated the need for a safe, "touchless" environment in airports where identification and credentials could be verified quickly and safely through facial recognition, which accelerated the development of biometric travel technologies like the Credential Authentication Technology machines during the past five years.

In addition to information-packed main stage sessions, participants had the opportunity to attend training sessions where they could earn Continuing Education Units. Of particular interest to DoD attendees were sessions that provided information and tools to help their travel missions, covering such topics as, “Executing a Successful DTS Training Program,” “DFAS Post Payment Audits,” “DTMO Compliance and Training Programs,” “Understanding and Overcoming the Challenges of Traveling with Military/Government Working Dogs,” and much more. In addition to training sessions, DoD hosted program-specific meetings where DTMO program managers provided updates on the U.S. Rental Car Agreement #5, the Integrated Lodging program, the DoD Bus program, the Travel Card program, and more. During DoD Connect, DTMO’s key stakeholder engagement session, attendees heard directly from the DTMO Director, Ms. Jennifer McPherson-Todd, and her leadership team on the state of the Defense Travel Enterprise.

To cap off the event, DTMO awarded the annual DoD Excellence in Practice awards to top DoD travel managers and teams who have demonstrated a remarkable level of professional skill and customer service.A huge thank you to all the attendees, speakers, vendors, and hosts for making GovTravels 2024 [] a resounding success. Mark your calendars for next year’s GovTravels symposium on February 24 - 26, 2025 in Alexandria, Virginia.