Girl Scouts hires its first Latina CEO

Aug. 25, 2011 at 9:27 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Anna Maria Chavez of San Antonio says she's "ecstatic and overwhelmed" to be the first Latina to head the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

Chavez moves up from chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of Southwest to CEO of the national organization at the organization's 52nd convention Nov. 8-13 in Houston, the San Antonio Express-News reported Thursday. She will be the Girl Scouts' 19th leader in its century of existence.

The national scouting organization is preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2012.

"I'm ecstatic and overwhelmed by this historic opportunity," Chavez said. "I truly understand the significance of my appointment. It says anything is possible in this great country."

The first-generation Mexican-American is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Arizona College of Law, and worked in the administration of former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, who currently serves as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Southwest Texas council board Chairwoman Jackie Gorman-Johnson calls Chavez "the new face of the Girl Scouts."

"She is who we are. The demographics of our country are changing, and for the first time, we'll have a woman of color leading the organization. I'm excited," Gorman-Johnson told the newspaper.

The Girl Scouts has about 3.2 million members, including 2.3 million girls and 880,000 adults.

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