Girl Scouts Continues its Long-standing Democratic Process with its 55th National Council Session 

Elects New National President and National Board Officers and Members-at-Large



Girl Scouts of the USA Press Room

NEW YORK, NY (November 19, 2020)—Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) convened its 55th National Council Session (NCS) for the first time virtually for three days last month, Friday, October 23, through Monday, October 25.

Starting in 1915, and every few years since then, the Girl Scout Movement has engaged in its democratic process by bringing together delegates from every council across the nation and USA Girl Scouts Overseas to discuss, debate, and vote on issues important to the Girl Scout Movement and elect national leaders for the next triennium. This year, there were approximately 1,200 delegates, including several hundred girl members who represented their councils.

When COVID-19 required that the event be moved online for the safety of all participants, GSUSA seized the opportunity to invite all members to watch the organization’s democratic process live. Several thousand members joined to see their elected delegates represent them and discuss the important business on the agenda.

Delegates also elected the members of the National Board, including devoted Girl Scout alum, lifetime member, Juliette Gordon Low Society member, and adult volunteer Karen Layng as National President (also known as the Chair of the National Board of Directors). With her election, Layng became the highest-ranking volunteer member of GSUSA and joined a prestigious group of past National Presidents that extends back to the Movement's founder, Juliette Gordon Low.

Layng was a Girl Scout in her youth and went on to serve as a troop leader for her Gold Award Girl Scout daughter’s troop for 13 years. She has been awarded the Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II. She is also the former board chair of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

As National Board President, Layng will oversee the 30-member National Board of GSUSA, tasked with managing the organization's governance, legal, and fiduciary responsibilities. She is the founder and president of M.A.I.T. Co., a consulting firm focused on business strategy, construction, legal advisory services, and enterprise risk management. She is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s Engineering Master’s in Executive Management for Design and Construction program, where she teaches courses in ethics, alternative dispute resolution, cybersecurity, and due diligence. She is the former chief strategy officer and general counsel of a national mechanical firm and a former partner and member of the board of the international law firm Vedder Price.

Layng succeeds Dr. Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, who served as National President for two trienniums, starting in 2014. Layng began her remarks during NCS by thanking Dr. Hannan for her undeniable commitment to the Movement and truly living the mantra, “it’s all about the girls.”

"As I assume the awesome responsibility and role as National President, I do so in honor of my own beloved troop leader, the many girls in Troop 4590 that I served as troop leader for 13 years, and all of you," Layng said during the final day of Girl Scouts’ 55th National Council Session. She ended her remarks to members with “the promise that your new National Board will be guided by the Girl Scout Promise and Law and do everything in our power to work tirelessly to make the Girl Scout Movement even better than we found it.”

"I could not be more thrilled to see Karen Layng assume the role of National Board President,” said interim GSUSA CEO Judith Batty. “In these challenging times, Karen is the leader and advocate we need. She has the drive, experience, and passion to grow the reach and impact of our Movement—at a time when girls need Girl Scouting, and the world needs Girl Scouts, more than ever.”

Layng’s term runs at least through the triennium ending in 2023. In addition to Layng’s election, the delegates also elected a new slate of National Board members. These individuals have the innovative spirit to propel the Girl Scout Movement forward during this critical time in the organization’s history and are ready to take on the important work ahead.

The complete list of board members follows (* designates new members):

National Board Officers 2020-2023

Karen P. Layng, President
Founder and President
M.A.I.T. Co.
Riverside, Illinois

Jeanne Kwong Bickford, First Vice President
Managing Director and Senior Partner 
Boston Consulting Group
Darien, Connecticut

Noorain Khan, Second Vice President
Director, Office of the President
Ford Foundation
New York, New York

Valarie Gelb, Treasurer
Chief Executive Officer
Gelb Global Business Growth Advisors
Middletown, Rhode Island

Ráchel Roché Walton, Secretary
United States Department of Justice
Jackson, Mississippi

National Board Members-at-Large 2020-2023

Mary Ann Altergott
Principal, Talent Management
Edward Jones
St. Louis, Missouri

Beth Bovis
Madison, Wisconsin

Eileen Drake
CEO and President
Aerojet Rocketdyne
El Segundo, California

Wendy Drummond
Drummond Communications, Inc.
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Vicki Gardner
Cincinnati, Ohio

Lorraine Hack
Senior Client Partner
Korn Ferry
New York, New York

Vievette Henry
Global Head of Organizational Effectiveness & Inclusion
Muttontown, New York

Vidya Krishnan
Global Chief Learning Officer
Richardson, Texas

Rose Littlejohn
Managing Director, Business Services
New York, New York

Sue Major
Founder and CEO
Major Executive Search
Rancho Santa Fe, California

Lydia Mallett
Managing Director
Mallett & Associates
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Rumi Morales
Outlier Ventures
Oak Park, Illinois

Brit Morin
CEO + Founder
Brit + Co
San Francisco, California

Ileana Musa
Co-Head of International Wealth Management and Head of International Banking & Lending
Morgan Stanley
Miami, Florida

Debbie Nielson
Former Board Chair
Girl Scouts of Utah
Ogden, Utah

Marcus Peacock
Chief Operating Officer
Business Roundtable
Washington, District of Columbia

Edmond C. Rastrelli
Olympus Group LLC
Jacksonville, Florida

Erika Rottenberg
General Counsel
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Palo Alto, California

Trooper Sanders
Benefits Data Trust
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Earl Simpkins Jr.
Strategy& Part of the PwC Network
Dallas, Texas

Zeta Smith
CEO for North America, Seniors Division
Sodexo, Inc.
Elkridge, Maryland

Leslee A. Temple
American Society of Landscape Architects
Black Mountain, North Carolina

Cynthia Teniente-Matson
Texas A&M San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas

Diane Tipton
CEO and President
Self Storage Zone
Bethesda, Maryland

Maryann Waryjas
Former Senior Vice President and Advisor to the CEO
Herc Rentals Inc.
Burr Ridge, Illinois

Non-Board, National Board Development Committee 2020-2023

Felecia Gilmore-Long
Former Board Chair
Girl Scouts of West Central Florida
Lutz, Florida

Robyn Ratcliffe Manzini
Former Board Chair
Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada

Monica Martinez
SVP, National Community Relations – External Diversity Programming and CRA Volunteer Management
Comerica Bank
Detroit, Michigan


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