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Judith Batty
Published: 13 August 2020

The Girl Scouts of the USA named Judith Batty as Interim CEO of the company, the first Black CEO in the organization's 108-year history.

She follows in the footsteps of Gloria Dean Randle Scott, Ph.D., who was elected as the first Black national president of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America in 1975. Scott herself revolutionized the organization by being intentional about getting girls of color into the frey and updating its trefoil symbol to three faces, which emphasized the diversity of Girl Scouting and its focus on girls.

girl scouts history
Batty joined the scouts at a young age, starting off as a Brownie. She continued with the troop over the years, eventually becoming a member of the Nassau County Council in New York, where she served two terms on the National Board. 

As a youth, Batty said the Girl Scouts "instilled in [her] the courage, confidence and character that [has] guided [her] through [her] life and career." 

The Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is made up of more than 2.5 million members, including 1.7 million girls and 750,000 adults dedicated to honoring the vision set so long ago. The organization focuses on building character, courage, and confidence in young women through leadership development and adventure. 

Other 'firsts'

Batty is no stranger to firsts. She has worked nearly three decades as senior legal counsel at a Fortune 100 company where she was the first woman and first Black person to counsel for various overseas affiliates. She will succeed former CEO of GSUSA, Sylvia Acevedo, who worked to introduce 21st century STEM skills into the model. Batty hopes she can continue to build upon the legacy set before her and ensure the scouts' success for generations to come. 

"As families across the country contend with so much uncertainty and upheaval, I am committed to ensuring that the Girl Scouts continues to offer shelter in the storm," Batty said. "[We're upholding] 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. It is an incredible honor to bring those lessons [I learned] back full circle to help the Girl Scouts navigate this transition."

To learn more about the Girl Scouts of the USA and support their movement, visit www.girlscouts.org.

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