Lee Sentell has served as director of the Alabama Tourism Department since January 2003. He was reappointed by Gov. Kay Ivey in 2017.
His tourism career has spanned more than 30 years. After serving as city editor of The Decatur Daily, he became the first director of the Decatur Tourism Bureau. He was director of marketing at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville during the first decade of Space Camp and was director of tourism at the Huntsville Convention & Visitors Bureau when appointed to the position in Montgomery.
Sentell is the longest serving director of the cabinet-level state tourism agency. He is past chair of Travel South USA, the nation’s largest regional tourism marketing agency. He has served on boards of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Alabama Historical Commission, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Alabama Humanities Foundation, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. He authored a travel guide titled The Best of Alabama. He is a native of Ashland, Ala., and a graduate of Auburn University.