Girl Scouts of the USA is proud to announce that Anna Maria Chávez has been appointed to the top post at the iconic organization. Chávez is set to officially assume her new role at the Girl Scouts National Council Session/52nd Convention in November.
Chávez's appointment as the 19th chief executive of Girl Scouts of the USA, among the largest and most widely recognized nonprofits in the country, comes as the organization readies to launch a national celebration as part of its 100th anniversary designed to honor its legacy and create urgency around girls' issues. She will replace Kathy Cloninger, who is retiring after leading the national organization for eight years.
"Girl Scouts is the premier leadership organization for girls with a trailblazing legacy that stretches nearly 100 years," said Chávez, who currently serves as chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. "The country has never needed Girl Scouts more than it does today. What girls are accomplishing in Girl Scouting is inspiring. I have seen it firsthand in Texas, and I intend to tell that story far and wide. I'm eager to work with our partners across the country as the organization embarks on a new century of empowering girls to take the lead in their own lives and make a difference in their communities and across the world."
Chávez was appointed chief executive of the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas in 2009 after serving as deputy chief of staff for urban relations and community development for former Arizona governor and current U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. Since her arrival in Southwest Texas, Chávez has been busy engaging the community and advocating for issues important to girls and their growth and development.
Connie Lindsey, National President of Girl Scouts of the USA, said: "Anna Maria is the right person at the right time for our organization. She has a tremendous track record, and her visionary leadership is going to be invaluable as we work to fulfill our mission to be the best leadership experience for girls in ways that are relevant, engaging and meaningful to girls."
Chávez will take over as chief executive after a dramatic period of change for the organization. "What a testament to the kind of leadership we have within the Girl Scout Movement that we were able to select one of our own to lead our organization into its second century," said Cloninger, who acceded to the top post after nearly three decades of executive roles in Girl Scouting, "Anna Maria exemplifies the leadership qualities that we strive to teach all of our girls and she is going to be an inspiration to all girls and a strong advocate in their behalf."
Jackie Gorman-Johnson, Board Chair for Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, says "this is a bittersweet day for us in Southwest Texas. We are fortunate to have benefited from Anna's visionary leadership and now look forward to watching how she will impact Girl Scouting on a, not only national, but global scale."