After four years leading the Girl Scouts of the United States (GSUSA), Sylvia Acevedo is stepping down as CEO, the organization announced today. Following Ms. Acevedo’s last day on August 15, Judith Batty, lifelong Girl Scout, Board Member, and corporate trailblazer – will be stepping up as interim CEO, the first Black CEO in the organization’s history.
Ms. Acevedo, a former rocket scientist, and a lifetime Girl Scout helped propel the organization forward to be more relevant in the 21st century. During her four years as CEO, Sylvia Acevedo transformed the organization, which is ultimately about helping the girls of today become tomorrow’s leaders.
Under Ms. Acevedo, GSUSA:
- Provided girls in urban, rural and suburban areas with the 21st century STEM skills that they’ll need for life – and America needs for a globally competitive workforce;
- Overhauled the iconic Girl Scout Cookie Program by transforming key elements to maximize efficiency and enhance performance for the movement;
- Introduced 144 new badges and journeys by modernizing programs around robotics, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, outdoors, leadership and civics; and in 2019, more than 1 Million STEM badges were earned; and
- Has steered through the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“On behalf of Girl Scouts of the USA, the board, and our entire volunteer community, I would like to extend a warm and heartfelt thank you to Sylvia for her contributions these past four years.” said Kathy Hannan, Board Chair of GSUSA.
Ms. Batty began her Girl Scout career as a Brownie and as a member of the Nassau County Council in New York and served two terms on the National Board, this term serving as a member of the Executive Committee and International Commissioner. Prior to joining the Girl Scouts as interim CEO, for nearly thirty years, Ms. Batty served as senior legal counsel and an executive for a Fortune 100 corporation, where she became the first woman and first Black general counsel to one of the company’s overseas affiliates.
“As we look forward, we are confident that Judith’s experience makes her uniquely qualified to help the Girl Scouts transition into our next chapter and continue to serve our enduring mission as an inclusive, supportive organization that stands ready to help every girl learn and thrive,” said Hannan.
In the coming months, Ms. Batty will embark on a listening tour with staff and council leadership, where she will hear directly from the field about how to advance the mission of the organization to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.