President & CEO, VISIT FLORIDA
As VISIT FLORIDA’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Ken Lawson leads Florida’s official destination marketing organization in partnership with its Board of Directors and the statewide tourism industry.
During Mr. Lawson’s career, he has served in numerous leadership positions for several private sector companies and government agencies where he balanced the needs of the private sector while protecting public resources. Most recently, he served as Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for six years where he led a team of 1,600 employees who successfully regulated more than one million businesses and professions across Florida. A native Floridian, Mr. Lawson received his bachelor’s and law degree from Florida State University.
He began his legal career in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Judge Advocate General and later served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida. In 2001, he was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Enforcement for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he was responsible for the oversight of several federal law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. efforts combatting terrorist financing. Mr. Lawson also served as Assistant Chief Counsel for Field Operations with the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration. In the private sector, Mr. Lawson served as the Vice President for Compliance for nFinanSe Inc., a Tampa financial services company, and consulted for Booz Allen Hamilton, for whom he served as Chief of Party for the Financial Crimes Prevention Project in Jakarta, Indonesia.