Girl Scouts of the USA Press Room
NEW YORK (July 21, 2023)—Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), the largest girl-led organization in the world, announced today that current board member Noorain Fatima Khan has been elected to the role of National Board President, effective July 19, 2023, for the 2023–2026 triennium. Khan, a passionate Girl Scout alum and the first Muslim American and millennial leader to hold the position, brings tremendous nonprofit leadership experience to the board and serves as an inspiration for the organization’s girls, volunteers, and staff.
With the appointment, Khan becomes the highest-ranking volunteer member in Girl Scouting and joins a prestigious group of past National Board Presidents that extends back to the Movement’s founder, Juliette Gordon Low.
Khan is a highly respected and recognized leader in her field, with deep expertise across the philanthropic public and private sectors.
Khan is currently director of the Ford Foundation’s Office of the President, where she oversees the foundation’s global discretionary grantmaking and leads cross-foundation strategic initiatives. She served as a key partner on the foundation’s historic $1 billion social bond offering in 2020 that drove major investments in organizations to combat the crises of COVID-19 and systemic racism. She also launched and oversaw Ford’s work in disability rights, growing it into the largest private funder of disability in the world. Her work on disability rights is the subject of a Harvard case study on social sector leadership.
“We are thrilled that Noorain will serve as our National Board President. Noorain will be a thoughtful, effective, and committed leader of the board, GSUSA, and the Movement in this new era of Girl Scouting,” said Bonnie Barczykowski, CEO of GSUSA. “Noorain is an unwavering champion of girls and women who brings a true passion for Girl Scouting and an enduring commitment to our mission—values that will guide her leadership as we continue to expand the impact of the organization for the benefit of all girls.”
“In the early 1990s, I joined troop 369 in Michigan as a Brownie. I remember feeling excited to try new things and hopeful about the friendships I was going to make. In the years that followed, Girl Scouts built my confidence, connected me to my community, and gave me opportunity after opportunity to develop my leadership skills,” said Khan. “As much as those experiences meant to me then, I would never have imagined they were starting me on a path that would lead to this moment. I am deeply honored to serve as the next National President for GSUSA. Girl Scouts changed the trajectory of my life, and my unwavering commitment will be to ensure that it continues to be the best place for all girls to feel that they belong and to learn how they will thrive and lead.”
Khan is a National Gold Award Girl Scout, which is the Movement’s highest honor. She is also a Girl Scout lifetime member as well as a Juliette Gordon Low Society member and has served in a variety of local, national, and global roles for the Girl Scout Movement. From 2020 to 2023, she served as Second Vice President of the GSUSA National Board and Co-Chaired the board’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Justice Advisory Committee. Khan served as GSUSA National Board Secretary from 2017 to 2020.
Khan’s career began in corporate law at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and she has served as a senior policy advisor on the National Economic Council at the White House and as chief of staff at the education nonprofit Teach for All. She is a member of the New York State Bar. She has served on a variety of nonprofit boards, including the Pillars Fund, the Association of American Rhodes Scholars, New York Women’s Foundation, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Noorain has appeared on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
She earned a JD from Yale Law School, where she was a PD Soros Fellow; an MPhil from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar; and a BA from Rice University. Khan has received the George Parkin Service Award for outstanding contributions to the Rhodes Trust and was honored by Rice University’s Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality with its Distinguished Alumna Award. She resides in Washington, DC, with her husband and two young children.
As National Board President, Khan will lead a 30-member National Board of Directors, which reflects the diversity of this country and Girl Scouts’ Movement through their expertise and backgrounds. These individuals are deeply committed to girls’ success and understand Girl Scouts’ vital role in their communities. The National Board of GSUSA manages the organization's governance, legal, and fiduciary responsibilities. Additionally, there are five non-board members on the National Board Development Committee who work in partnership with the National Board throughout the triennium.
Khan succeeds Karen P. Layng, who served as National Board President for the 2020–2023 triennium.
“I’m incredibly grateful to my predecessor, Karen, for her dedicated leadership during the challenges of the last few years and her tireless efforts to have a meaningful impact on the organization,” Khan said. “Karen and the entire board have my enduring gratitude for their continued contributions and their constant commitment. I look forward to working with the board and the Movement to continue building girls of courage, confidence, and character. The world needs our Girl Scouts more than ever.”
We Are Girl Scouts of the USA
Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them.