A lifelong Girl Scout and Board member, Judith Batty, has made history as she emerged the first Black CEO since the establishment of the organization 108 years ago.

“When I was young, the Girl Scouts instilled in me the courage, confidence, and character that have guided me through my life and career. It is an incredible honor to bring those lessons back full circle to help the Girl Scouts navigate this transition,” Batty said in a statement released to the press.

 
 

The Girls Scouts are an American institution. Millions of women in the USA were Girl Scouts and have fond memories of this formative experience. While many of us remember camping and selling cookies, the Girl Scouts are about far more than either one of these two things. The organization’s true strength is its time tested one-of -a-kind leadership development program for girls, which has proven results. Being a Girl Scout helps girls learn how to take the lead – in their own lives and in the world. Is it any wonder that many women have encouraged their daughters to join the Girl Scouts so that they too can experience the benefits of scouting? Today, over 2.5 million girls in the country are Girl Scouts.

The Girl Scouts are now under new leadership. Former Girl Scout Judith Batty made history this week, by becoming the first Black CEO of Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA). Daughter of a Girl Scout and Troop Leader, Batty began as a Brownie with her local Nassau County Council in New York and continued scouting through high school. Long after her scouting days were over, Judith remained involved with the Scouts, as a troop leader and eventually National Board Member.

Batty has been a member of the Girl Scouts’ National Board since 2014, where she first served as Executive Committee member and International Commissioner. As International Commissioner she coordinated GSUSA’s efforts and policies with Girl Scouts and Councils around the world. Batty also led the Board Task Force that re-imagined the Girl Scout cookie program. This critical work put Girl Scouts on firmer financial footing, which is helping them to this day. Most recently Judith co-led a Board Task Force to develop strategic initiatives to allow the Girl Scouts to survive and even thrive through the COVID-19 pandemic, so that GSUSA can continue to effectively support Girl Scouts around the country.

Judith was appointed interim CEO, after Sylvia Acevedo announced her departure from GSUSA.

GSUSA Board Chair Kathy Hannan has said, “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.”

 

“As families across the country contend with so much uncertainty and upheaval, I am committed to ensuring that the Girl Scouts continues to offer a shelter in the storm – a place where all our girls feel welcome, can find community, solidarity, leadership opportunities and fun, despite the challenging moment we are all collectively living through,” she said.

It has been a great and historic week for Black women and African American community.

Outstanding and well deserved appointment, what do you think?