About Us



The governing body of the BEST Education Network is the executive committee. The executive committee elects a chair who is responsible for coordinating the executive committee’s activities.

Gianna Moscardo (Chair)

Professor Personal Chair

Faculty of Law, Business & Creative Arts, School of Business

James Cook University

1 James Cook Drive

Townsville, QLD 4811


+61 7 478 14254


Gianna first attended Think Tank VII in Arizona and became more engaged with the BEST Education Network in subsequent years. In 2008, she led the brainstorming session and in 2009 co-chaired Think Tank IX in Singapore. Gianna has since been involved in a number of knowledge creation projects and won the 2013 Outstanding Paper Award. She joined the Executive Committee in 2013 and took over as BEST Education Network Chair in 2014.

Julia N. Albrecht

Senior Lecturer in Tourism

Department of Tourism

University of Otago

PO Box 56

Dunedin, New Zealand

+64 (0)3 479 5441


Julia first attended Think Tank X in 2010. She has supported subsequent Think Tanks with various knowledge creation activities. Julia was asked to officially join the Executive Committee in 2012 and has continued her support particularly in relation to knowledge creation and dissemination, as well as PR & Communications activities.

John Pearce (BESTEN Secretary)

Research Officer,

College of Business, Law and Governance

Division of Tropical Environments & Societies

James Cook University

Townsville, QLD 4811



John organizes the annual Think Tank in collaboration with the Think Tank Planning committee. John first attended a BEST EN Think Tank in Malaysia 2013, appreciating the unique structure of stakeholder discussions and workshops that BESTEN facilitated. He later presented at BEST EN South Africa 2015. He took over the role of secretary in 2017, and has helped organize two think tanks since, both with amazing hosts in Europe and America.

Kelsey Hejjas


Liverpool Business School

Liverpool John Moores University


United Kingdom



Kelsy first attended BEST EN Think Tank in Berlin in 2016. Having been impressed by the collegiality and enthusiasm of the Think Tank committee and attendees towards creating pragmatic teaching and research agendas, Kelsy was pleased to join the Executive Committee in January 2017. Her research is focused on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and ethics as they relate to the workforce, leadership, and management of tourism and hospitality organizations.

Karen Hughes

Associate Professor

UQ Business School

University of Queensland

GP North Building

St Lucia Campus

Queensland Australia

+61 7 3346 0564


Karen’s research and teaching in the area of sustainable tourism spans a number of interest areas including examining the impact of wildlife tourism experiences on visitors’ adoption of environmentally-friendly behaviours both on-site and following their visit; examining visitors’ perceptions and preferences for interpretation at sites such as zoos, national parks, botanic gardens, and heritage sites; and exploring the potential of indigenous stories to connect international visitors with Australian landscapes. She first attended a BEST EN Think Tank in Berlin in 2016.

Dagmar Lund-Durlacher

Department Head

Department of Tourism and Service Management

MODUL University Vienna

Am Kahlenberg 1

1190 Vienna


+43 1 320 3555 400

+43 1 320 3555 903


Dagmar first attended Think Tank VI in 2006. In 2008 she returned and was invited to join the BEST Education Network Executive Committee. 2010-2014 Dagmar headed the BEST Education Network as Chair of the Executive Committee.

Paolo Mura

Associate Professor

College of Communication and Media Sciences

Zayed University

P.O Box 144534, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

+971 2599 3132


Paolo is one of the newest members of the Executive Committee. After attending Think Tank XII in France and helping in the organization of Think Tank XIII in Malaysia, he joined the Executive Committee in July 2013.

Wolfgang Strasdas


Centre for Sustainable Tourism

Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development

Schicklerstr. 5

D-16225 Eberswalde




Wolfgang has attended three Think Tanks so far, the first one in 2012 in Gréoux, France, on tourism mobilities. Having been impressed with the level of academic expertise as well as with BEST EN’s approach to create practical outcome in terms of research and teaching agendas, he successfully hosted the 2016 Think Tank in Berlin-Eberswalde, which dealt with corporate responsibility in tourism.

Paige Viren

Assistant Professor

Centre for Sustainable Tourism

East Carolina University

Carol G. Belk Building

Mail Stop 540

Greenvill, NC 27858-4353

+1 252 737 2425


Paige joined the BEST EN Executive committee in 2016. Her research interests revolve around consumer behaviour and tourism, with a special focus on adventure travel and sustainable community based tourism in rural areas. More recently, Paige Hosted the 2019 BESTEN Think Tank XIX titled "Creating Sustainable Tourism Experiences" in San Fransico.

Fabian Weber


Institute of Tourism

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Roesslimatte 48
CH-6002 Lucerne



Fabian was the host of the 2018 BEST EN Think Tank XVIII entitled "Marketing Sustainable Tourism Products" in Lucerne. His research interests cover tourism and sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, and certifications amongst others. He is responsible for the majors in tourism and hospitality management in the bachelors' program of Lucerne School of Business.