From GIRL SCOUT troop leader to CEO

FRANCES HESSELBEIN rose from a volunteer troop leader to become chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of the USA. Many credit her with transforming the organization. During her tenure, from 1976 to 1990, Hesselbein converted the Girl Scouts from a nearly irrelevant anomaly into one of the most vibrant, innovative, and recognized organizations in the world. Her willingness to dispense with old, unworkable policies and procedures, coupled with her emphasis on making the Girl Scouts a contemporary enterprise—one where girls of all races and backgrounds could feel included—vitalized and energized the dwindling ranks. In the course of her career, she was recognized by Fortune magazine as the "Best Nonprofit Manager in America."

Today, Frances is chairman of the board of governors of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management (see sidebar, page 12). She served as founding president and CEO for nine years. Currently, she is editor in chief of the foundation's Leader to Leader journal and is co-editor of the Drucker Foundation Future Series.

In 1998, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, a recognition of her leadership with the Girl Scouts and of her current national and international role in leading social sector organizations toward excellence.

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July 1, 2002

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