Girl Scouts announce 1st Black CEO in organization’s history

Judith Batty is named interim CEO of the Girl Scouts, the first Black woman to hold the title in its century-long history.

Judith Batty (Credit: Judith Batty)

Girl Scouts of the USA announces a new interim CEO as their prior leader steps down, making organization history.

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Judith Batty earns the title of CEO after a lifelong dedication to being a Girl Scout according to a recent official release. After a four-year tenure,  Sylvia Acevedo decided to leave the position, making room for Batty to become the first Black woman to lead the organization in its over a century-long history.

“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,” says Kathy Hannan, Board Chair of GSUSA, in the official statement.

"Gifted" Star McKenna Grace Becomes A Girl Scout
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 24: “Gifted” star Mckenna Grace gushed “I’ve always wanted to be a Girl Scout” during a ceremony today where she joined the organization on March 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Girl Scouts of the USA)

While CEO, Acevedo who is a rocket scientist, helped to provide girls in urban, rural, and suburban areas with the 21st century STEM skills. She also revamped the Girl Scouts cookie program and introduced over 100 new badges.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve as CEO of this great organization,” Acevedo remarks in the release.

“The real stars of this organization are—and will always be—the girls who motivate all of us who so proudly serve Girl Scouts. I want to also recognize and thank our hard-working volunteers, who truly embody the selfless spirit of Girl Scouts.”

Now Batty has stepped up to continue expanding the organization.

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“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,” says the new CEO in the official statement and published on a text graphic shared on the GSUSA Instagram account.

According to Girl Scouts, Batty entered as a Brownie, the level for youth in grades 2-3. Prior to accepting the job as CEO, she became a member of the Nassau County Council in New York and served two terms on the National Board.

She also has an almost thirty-year career law, serving as senior legal counsel and an executive for a Fortune 100 corporation where she became the first woman and first Black general counsel to 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,” says Hannan in the official statement.

GSUSA details that Batty “will embark on a listening tour with staff and council leadership,” getting direct feedback on how to advance the organization and continuing to build the courage, confidence, and characters of all members.

In the coming months, 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.

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