Rika Jean François

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Commissioner ITB Corporate Social Responsibility, Competence Centre Travel & Logistics, ITB Berlin


Rika holds a Master Degree in Social Anthropology and Iranian Studies with an expertise on ethnic identities, sustainable development and diversity issues from the Free University of Berlin.

She started to work and become fond of tourism as a tour guide in Greece, while studying at the University of Crete and as an incoming agent in Athens. Coming back to Germany she became counselor at the University’s International Academic Exchange Office and travelled as a researcher to Iran, Malawi and Haiti.

Ms Jean-François obtained an additional qualification in Quality Management, working on the evaluation of development aid workers’ education for the German Development Service. Since 2004 she has been with Messe Berlin and vitally helped developing ITB’s Corporate Social Responsibility. As ITB’s Commissioner of CSR she is a passionate speaker at sustainable tourism events internationally. It is her aim to help to bring sustainable tourism standards into mainstream tourism. She has also spearheaded ITB’s implementation of the LGBT travel segment and became board member of IGLTA (International Gay&Lesbian Travel Association) as well as of the IGLTA Foundation. She is a jury member of international responsible tourism contests as the ITB National Geographic World Legacy Awards, the TO DO! Awards and the Toura d’Or Film Contest for Sustainable Tourism and is member of the PATA (Pacific Asian Travel Association) Sustainability Committee. At ITB, she is also responsible for South Asia (with emphasis on India) and the Pacific region, and is chief coordinator of ITB’s Partner Country programme.