President & CEO
Ashford Hospitality Trust
J. Robison Hays, III is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ashford Hospitality Trust (NYSE: AHT) and the Senior Managing Director of Ashford (NYSE American: AINC). He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Ashford Trust.
Mr. Hays has nearly two decades of business experience operating and growing companies, including 15 years of real estate experience. Previously, he served as Chief Strategy Officer for Ashford, Ashford Trust and Braemar Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: BHR). He also served as Co-President for Ashford. Prior to these roles he served as Senior Vice President Corporate Finance & Strategy for Ashford Trust and Braemar Hotels & Resorts.
During his tenure at Ashford, Mr. Hays has been responsible for leading the execution of key strategic and operating initiatives. He has overseen financial analyses related to mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, refinancings, hedging, capital market transactions and major capital outlays. Prior to 2013, in addition to his other responsibilities, Mr. Hays was in charge of Ashford Trust’s investor relations efforts. Mr. Hays is a frequent speaker at industry and Wall Street investor Conferences.
Prior to joining Ashford, Mr. Hays worked in the Corporate Development office of Dresser, Inc., a Dallas-based oil field service and manufacturing company, where he focused on mergers, acquisitions, and strategic direction. Before working at Dresser, Mr. Hays was a member of the Merrill Lynch Global Power & Energy Investment Banking Group based in Texas. Mr. Hays earned his A.B. in Politics with a certificate in Political Economy from Princeton University and later studied philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Italy.