Meet Judith Batty, the New GSUSA Interim CEO
Lifelong Girl Scout Judith Batty made history this week, becoming the first Black CEO of Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA).
We welcome Batty as interim CEO, after Sylvia Acevedo announced her departure from GSUSA after four impactful years propelling the Movement forward.
In the coming weeks, Batty will engage with the Girl Scouts Movement through a listening tour, inviting staff, volunteers, members, and Council CEOs to participate in conversations about not only what they need to be successful, but how to carry forward the Girl Scouts’ mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character across the country.
CircleAround congratulates Batty on this tremendous next step in her career and is taking time today to highlight some of her remarkable achievements as a trailblazer and pacesetter.
She’s the First Black Woman to Be CEO of GSUSA
Daughter of a Girl Scout and Troop Leader, Batty began as a Brownie with her local Nassau County Council in New York, where she would eventually become one of 100 Girls from across the country to be chosen as the first Girl Delegates to vote at the National Council Session. Today, she remains just as devoted to the Movement as ever before.
Since 2014, Batty has been a member of the Girl Scouts National Board, where she then served as International Commissioner and member of the Executive Committee — coordinating the Movement’s efforts with Girl Scouts and Councils around the world. Just recently, she co-led a Board Task Force to develop the strategic initiatives that will allow the Girl Scouts to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and emerge strong enough to continue supporting its 2.5 million Girl Scouts around the country.
She also led the Task Force responsible for reimagining the iconic cookie program, from baker to Girl Scout — resolving structural and operational challenges local Councils have faced for decades and creating a modernized, strategic program that better serves Girl Scouts.
As she took the reins as interim CEO, Batty emphasized her commitment to upholding the organization's more than 100-year legacy as a welcoming and inclusive space for every girl.
“As families across the country contend with so much uncertainty and upheaval," said Batty, "I am committed to ensuring that the Girl Scouts continues to offer 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."
Beyond the Girl Scouts, Batty Is a Corporate Trailblazer
After earning her law degree from New York University, Batty went on to spend three decades as senior counsel and executive to a Fortune 100 company, where she became the first woman and first Black person to serve as general counsel to one of the corporation’s overseas affiliates. While with the company, Batty spearheaded their engagement with programs to bolster STEM education and empower women and girls around the world.
Today, she continues to participate in the boards of multiple organizations and foundations that uplift young people and encourage them to grow into the leaders of tomorrow.
GSUSA Board Chair Kathy Hannan said, “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.”
She Is a Huge Supporter of the Arts
Music, theater, arts, and culture were very much a part of Batty’s life growing up. In an interview with BlackHer, she said, “My dad was the first in his family to go to college, and his undergraduate degree was in music.” She recalled watching Pearl Bailey in the leading role in the all-Black production of Hello, Dolly! on Broadway, which inspired her love of theater and acting.
Since then, she’s been involved with numerous arts-based organizations as a board member, as a way to combine her passions and work. This included one of her favorite theaters in the Washington, D.C. area, Levine Music. Levine Music is an accredited multi-campus music center and Arena Stage.
Congratulations, Judith Batty, and thank you for supporting the GSUSA!