Judith Batty named Interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA

Sylvia Acevedo leaves lasting legacy after a lifetime of service to the Girl Scouts



Girl Scouts of the USA Press Room

NEW YORK, NY (August 10, 2020)—After four years leading the Girl Scouts of the United States (GSUSA), Sylvia Acevedo is stepping down as CEO, the organization announced today. Following Ms. Acevedo's last day on August 15, Judith Batty—lifelong Girl Scout, Board Member, and corporate trailblazer—will be stepping up as interim CEO, the first Black CEO in the organization's history.

Ms. Acevedo, a former rocket scientist and a lifetime Girl Scout, helped propel the organization forward to be more relevant in the 21st century. During her four years as CEO, Ms. Acevedo transformed the organization, which is ultimately about helping the girls of today become tomorrow's leaders. Under Ms. Acevedo, GSUSA:

  • Provided girls in urban, rural and suburban areas with the 21st century STEM skills that they'll need for life—and America needs for a globally competitive workforce;
  • Overhauled the iconic Girl Scout cookie program by transforming key elements to maximize efficiency and enhance performance for the movement;
  • Introduced 144 new badges and journeys by modernizing programs around robotics, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, outdoors, leadership and civics; and in 2019, more than 1 Million STEM badges were earned; and
  • Has steered through the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It has been my honor and privilege to serve as CEO of this great organization," said Sylvia Acevedo, former CEO of GSUSA. "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."

"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," said Kathy Hannan, Board Chair of GSUSA.

About Ms. Batty
Ms. Batty began her Girl Scout career as a Brownie and as a member of the Nassau County Council in New York and served two terms on the National Board, this term serving as a member of the Executive Committee and International Commissioner. Prior to joining the Girl Scouts as interim CEO, for nearly thirty years, Ms. Batty served as senior legal counsel and an executive for a Fortune 100 corporation, where she became the first woman and first Black general counsel to one of the company's overseas affiliates.

"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," said Judith Batty, interim CEO of GSUSA. "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."

"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," said Hannan.

In the coming months, Ms. 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 to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.  

We're Girl Scouts of the USA
We're 2.5 million strong—more than 1.7 million girls and 750,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon "Daisy" Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we've honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We're the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscouts.org.