The American Gaming Association has appointed Geoff Freeman as president and chief executive officer, effective July 1. He brings 16 years of association leadership and public affairs experience to the position.

“He is both a thoughtful and energetic leader who already understands our industry, has a deep public policy background and extensive network of relationships in Washington and has the skills to build coalitions and execute grass-roots campaigns,” said Richard Haddrill, chairman of the AGA board of directors.

Freeman joins the AGA after seven years at the U.S. Travel Association, most recently serving as executive vice-president and chief operating officer.

“It is an extraordinary opportunity for one of our industry’s brightest leaders, and I congratulate my good friend on this wonderful next step,” said USTA President and CEO Roger Dow in a statement.

Freeman is preceded at the AGA by Frank Fahrenkopf, who announced earlier this year he was stepping down after more than 17 years with the organization. After June 30, Fahrenkopf will be a consultant for the AGA through at least the end of 2013.