Ernest Wooden Jr
President & CEO
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
Ernest Wooden Jr. took the helm of Discover Los Angeles in January 2013 to oversee the global brand marketing and meetings and convention sales strategy for one of the most-visited and most-famous travel destinations in the world – Los Angeles.
As President & Chief Executive Officer of Discover L.A., Wooden is responsible for ensuring the achievement of the mission of the city’s official tourism marketing organization, which is to advance the prosperity of the Los Angeles visitor economy and the livelihoods which depend on it. This mission is fulfilled by marketing and promoting Los Angeles as the premier site for leisure travel, meetings and conventions to the principle segments of both the domestic and international travel trade and consumer. In addition to the staff at the primary office in Los Angeles, Wooden directs the activities of LATCB’s international offices in London, Sydney, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou as well as representatives in Japan, Germany, France, South Korea, Scandinavia, India and the Middle East. His additional responsibilities include oversight of the exclusive contract to market international air service and promote route development for Los Angeles World Airports as well as the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission.
Under Wooden’s leadership, Los Angeles has enjoyed record-breaking visitation, welcoming 47.3 million visitors from around the globe in 2016. As a global gateway for the United States, Los Angeles enjoys the second highest share of overseas visitors to the country. Tourism is a leading industry in Los Angeles, supporting 500,000 jobs and contributing more than $20 billion in visitor spending to the local economy and generating $31.6 billion in local economic impact.
With a passion for global business management and understanding diverse cultures, Wooden is currently pursuing a doctorate (DBA) from the International School of Management, Paris, France. He has studied international business on three continents with immersion experiences in Paris, France and Shanghai, China.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Wooden holds both a bachelor’s degree in business administration (BSBA) and a master’s degree in management science (MMS) from Thomas Edison State University.