Interim Chief Executive Officer
Sylvia Acevedo, interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, is a longtime advocate for underserved communities and girls’ and women’s causes. She was a member of the GSUSA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2016 and an officer and member of its Executive Committee.
Committed to Girl Scouts’ mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place, Sylvia was involved with Girl Scouts long before being named to the National Board. As a girl growing up in New Mexico, after her family suffered a major tragedy, Sylvia was forced to move and leave behind her school, her neighborhood, and her friends. It was this move that brought her to Girl Scouts, which would change her life forever, her troop providing her with tools and experiences not widely available to girls of her background at that time. In Sylvia’s words, “This life-changing experience showed me what leadership looked like and enabled me to pursue leadership as a goal.”
Over the years Sylvia has spoken across the country about the importance of helping girls discover their strengths, passions, and talents. She also served on the founding board of the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, Texas—the largest all-girls public school in the nation.
Sylvia is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and serves as chair of its Early Learning Subcommittee. She understands the U.S. education system and the challenges parents face in their children’s educational journey, and has traveled nationwide, talking with educators about the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Family Engagement curriculum, which she authored to help narrow academic achievement gaps in America. Sylvia is a strategic consultant to national organizations that strive to improve outcomes with America’s rising generation of youth, as well as a national advocate for STEM education. She is currently developing an aspirational memoir for middle school students that promotes STEM.
A talented technology executive who has held positions with some of the world’s most respected companies, previously Sylvia was the founder, president, and CEO of CommuniCard LLC, a marketing firm known for its innovative approaches to working with changing community demographics. Prior to that, she served in executive and business development roles at REBA Technologies, Dell Computer Corporation, Autodesk Inc., Tandem Ungermann-Bass, Apple Computer, and IBM—and she began her career as a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Sylvia has been widely recognized for her accomplishments, with honors that include the Austin Con Mi Madre Education Award (2016); Girl Scouts of Central Texas Woman of Distinction (2013); a place in U.S. News and World Report’s list of the top 100 American women in STEM (2012); the Ohtli Award from the federal government of Mexico, a national civil rights award (2011); the Austin Community Foundation’s STAR Award (2010); NMSU College of Engineering Distinguished Alumna (2010); the Austin American-Statesman’s Austin Hero Award (2009); the Austin Business Chamber of Commerce’s Star of Texas Award, Education (2007); and Businesswoman of the Year, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (2004).
Sylvia was one of the first Hispanic students, male or female, to earn a graduate engineering degree from Stanford University—an MS in industrial engineering—and she holds a bachelor of science degree with honors in industrial engineering from New Mexico State University.