Girl Scouts names first Black CEO

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The Girl Scouts of the United States of America named its first Black CEO on Tuesday after being in operation for more than a century. 

The organization announced Judith Batty, a former Exxon Mobil lawyer, will serve as the interim CEO after her predecessor, Sylvia Acevedo, stepped down this month after four years on the post, according to a press release.

Batty started with the Girl Scouts as a Brownie in the Nassau County Council in New York and later served two terms on its National Board. At Exxon Mobil, she became the first woman and Black general counsel of the Japan affiliate, CNN Business reported

“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,” Batty said in a statement.

The interim CEO plans to spend the coming months on a listening tour with staff and council leadership to learn about how to improve the organization. 

The Girl Scouts, which engages more than 1.7 million girls and 750,000 adults, has a history of racially segregated troops in the early years after its founding in 1912.

“While we are proud of our progress, I am committed to engaging the Movement in difficult discussions about race in an effort to make the Girl Scouts an actively anti-racist organization,” Batty said, according to CNN Business.

She also said she plans to prioritize advancing technology and keeping up resources to deal with the pandemic.

The 2017 Girl Scouts annual report says the organization consisted of 13.1 percent African American, almost 17 percent Hispanic, 5.5 percent Asian and 71 percent white members.

Tags Girl Scouts Girl Scouts of the USA Judith Batty Scouting Youth organizations
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