Meet the Chair – Leanne Harwood

Leanne Harwood is IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Managing Director and Senior Vice President for Japan, Australasia & Pacific (JAPAC). She is responsible for strategic leadership and end-to-end performance of the group’s large and growing business in this diverse region that spans 11 countries and more than 15,000 colleagues, including 120 open and 36 pipeline hotels across some of the world’s best-known brands from the luxury InterContinental Hotels & Resorts to the midscale Holiday Inn brand family.

In her time as SVP Managing Director, the JAPAC region has delivered unprecedented growth, record hotel signings and a reputation for strong performance, as well as building a reputation for its Culture of Firsts, including being the global launch market for the voco™ and Vignette Collection brands.  

Leanne has more than 25 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, including 19 years working with IHG around the world, and is renowned for her vision, energy and ‘fierce’ conversations – not to mention her powerful laugh. Beyond her well-earned reputation on delivering on business performance, Leanne has a deep passion making positive change in the world through a personal focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, ESG and community engagement, including the RISE program, the Shadow Board (LINK) initiative and JAPAC DE&I Council, as well as being executive sponsor of IHG’s partnership with OzHarvest, Pride in Diversity and Champions of Change.

Leanne was also elected as President of the Accommodation Association in September 2021, becoming the first woman to hold the position in the 54-year history of the organisation, and became the inaugural Chair of Accommodation Australia following the amalgamation in 2023. She has also been Chair IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan Board for the past 3 years.