Tonya Fitzpatrick loves talking about the transformative power of travel and she has done so on several stages including TEDx, the Women’s Economic Forum in India, the North American Travel Journalist Association (NATJA), and FestiGals conference in New Orleans. She has also served as moderator for the Environmental Film Festival and a film presentation at the National Press Club. Tonya is a lawyer by training but an intrepid traveler and global citizen by heart and the latter inspired her to create World Footprints Media where she producers and co-hosts the multi award-winning World Footprints podcast with her husband, Ian. World Footprints is the recipient of multiple awards including a prestigious Lowell Thomas award and African Community Service Award for journalistic excellence and socially conscious mission. Listeners have been inspired by World Footprints interviews with prominent figures like the late Dr. Maya Angelou, Ken Burns, Jack Hanna, Stefanie Powers, David Rockefeller, Jr., Robert Kennedy, Jr., and others.
A published author, Tonya has contributed a chapter in a career inspiration book with Stephen Covey, co-created a Baltimore travel app and authored an e-itinerary guide for Washington, DC. Her professional career is diverse and ranges from a fundraising executive for a theatre to a politico. Under President George W. Bush, she received an appointment as a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education; she was placed as a federal contractor as Senior Legal Advisor in the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and, Tonya has served on Capitol Hill and other in other political positions.
Tonya received a Masters degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from Wayne State University. She has lived, studied or worked in England, Russia and China. She was recognized as a “Top Woman in Travel Media” by the Women in Travel & Tourism International and is a popular media personality who has appeared on public radio, the CBS and NBC networks and Retirement Living. Tonya has also been featured in Black Enterprise, USA News Report and several books including “This Is NOT The Career I Ordered”. Tonya is a member of the National Speakers Association, Society for American Travel Writers and NATJA. When she is not crossing the globe, Tonya lives in the metro Washington, DC area with her husband Ian and their cat, Irwin.