2019 40 Under 40: Michelle Guelbart, MSW, ECPAT-USA

Michelle Guelbart

Michelle Guelbart, MSW, 31, works in Brooklyn as director of private sector engagement at ECPAT-USAAs a 2019 40 Under 40 honoree, Guelbart discusses her passion for the events industry.

*Connect with Guelbart on Instagram

What I do: I work with businesses, mostly in the travel space, to implement comprehensive policies, protocols and training to combat child sex trafficking.

How I got here: When I think back, I have never not been trying to create a better world. In high school, I fundraised and learned about human rights. In college, I honed my skills and got firsthand experience in refugee resettlement and then, in grad school, I landed at ECPAT-USA where I learned about the power of legislation and corporate policies that, when leveraged, can make sweeping, long-lasting change for good. 

Greatest career accomplishment: Being appointed to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking.

Impressive stats:  Fifty-two percent of all hotels in the U.S. have training about how to prevent and disrupt child sex trafficking. Six out of the 10 largest hotel chains in the world partner with ECPAT-USA and have access to training about human trafficking.

What I am working on now: We hope to launch a training program that planners, associations and travel managers can use to engage business travelers on the issue. We want them to understand the issue and know how to spot and react to it. We are also launching a report giving guidance to hotels about laws aiming to engage hotels in the fight to combat human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.

What I do outside of work: I am an advisory council member for Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking and sit on the Department of Transportation’s advisory committee on human trafficking. Completely outside of work, I like to cook and ride a bike!