Melissa Riley

Senior Vice President, Convention Sales & Services, Destination DC

Melissa Riley serves as the Senior Vice President, Convention Sales and Services at Destination DC (DDC), the official convention and tourism organization for the nation’s capital.

A 26-year veteran of the travel and hospitality industry, Riley leads a team of more than 30 who work in concert to generate a positive economic impact for the District of Columbia.

Riley sparked DDC’s Connected project. The strategic positioning aligns DDC with the city’s priorities to drive the meetings and events business within growth sectors. The overall positioning includes three pillars: Connected Capital, focused on DC’s strong industries and assets that benefit customers; Connected Campus, focused on unique venues and event space to extend a meeting’s footprint; and Connected Community, a platform for customers to leave a lasting positive impact on Washington, DC.

She has fostered a strong relationship between DDC and the hotel community, as well as Events DC, to yield the maximum number of events for the city. Additionally, Riley positions DDC as a leading industry voice in meetings-related initiatives around the world, serving as a board member under the destination marketing sector for International Congress and Convention Association and Destinations International’s Chair of the Large Market Round Table.

Riley received a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Virginia Tech. She now serves on the Pamplin School of Business HTM Advisory Board. Her memberships in the industry include the Professional Convention Management Association, Meeting Professionals International, International Association of Exhibition Executives and Destinations International. Riley is a longtime resident of the District of Columbia and was born and raised in Reston, Virginia.