First American Indian to Head Iconic Organization
NEW YORK — Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) Thursday announced the appointment of Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, a tribal citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin, to serve as National Board President of the iconic Girl Scouts of the USA. She becomes the first American Indian to ever head the Girl Scouts.
Hannan was formally selected to the position on October 18th, following a vote of the delegates to the Girl Scouts’ triennial National Council Session/53rd Convention, which took place last weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Hannan credits the tribe’s rich cultural identity with playing a vital role in her personal and professional life.
With the appointment, Hannan becomes the highest ranking volunteer member of the Girl Scouts, and joins a prestigious group of past Board Presidents that extends back to the Movement’s founder, Juliette Gordon Low. She takes over for outgoing National Board President Connie L. Lindsey, who held the post for six years, successfully overseeing sweeping transformations in the size and scope of the national organization.
As National Board President, Hannan will oversee the 30 member National Board of GSUSA, tasked with managing the organizations’ governance, legal, and fiduciary responsibilities. Though new to the position, Hannan is not new to Girl Scouts’ governance, having served as an at-large member of the National Board since 2011. She presently serves as the national managing partner of diversity and corporate responsibility at KPMG in Chicago, a position she has held since December 2009. In this role she provides strategic direction for leveraging diversity and inclusion and corporate philanthropy for commercial sustainability.
“I am extremely honored and excited to have been selected by the delegates of the Girl Scout Movement to serve as National Board President to GSUSA,” said Hannan. “The opportunities presented to girls today have never been greater, but the challenges they face have also never been more difficult to overcome. That is why the Girl Scout mission remains so vitally important in today’s world. Through Girl Scouts, girls unlock their inner potential to be leaders with the power to transform their world forever, and for better. I truly believe that girls represent one of the last great untapped resources of our society, and our best hope for a future of peace, prosperity, and innovation. To serve girls as our highest ranking volunteer is a special privilege, and I will try to be a representative, guide, and an example to all of the volunteers who work so tirelessly on behalf of girls everywhere.”
“Kathy Hannan is an ideal choice to lead the Girl Scout Movement into its second century of service to girls, and I could not have asked for a better partner to collaborate with as we work together on behalf of girls,” said GSUSA CEO Anna Maria Chávez. “Kathy’s unique insight, experience, and determination to move the needle for girls is evident in everything she does. As a woman of Native American descent, she is familiar with the struggles girls face, and is uniquely positioned to serve as a role model and mentor to those who aspire to leadership, regardless of their background. I am very excited to partner with Kathy and look forward to working with her in the years ahead, as we lead the Girl Scout Movement into the future.”
Hannan has been a passionate trailblazer and advocate for women in the workplace throughout her career. Frequently recognized for her ability to lead, she was selected to KPMG’s 2002 Leadership Summit, a program that develops future leaders of the firm, and founded KPMG’s Women’s Advisory Board the following year with the objective of improving the retention and advancement of women within the firm. Under her leadership, the Board established the firm’s first diversity network, the KPMG Network of Women, which has become the model for all other such networks. Hannan also serves as the chair of KPMG’s diversity advisory board, which is charged with advancing the chairman’s vision on diversity, and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of The KPMG Foundation, which provides ideas, actions, and financial support to a diverse array of academic and business communities.
She was selected by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the top “40 under 40” executives in 2000. In 2003, she was named Woman CPA of the Year by the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants, which recognized her for her professional accomplishments, demonstrated leadership, and contributions to furthering the advancement of women in accounting. She is a past recipient of the Athena International Award and the Anti-Defamation League’s Women of Achievement Award, and she has been named one of the Illinois CPA Society’s Women to Watch. In 2011, the Illinois Diversity Council honored her with the Most Powerful and Influential Women Award, and in 2012, YWCA Chicago honored her with the Outstanding Business Leader Award. Recently she was the recipient of Diversity Woman Magazine’s annual Mosaic Woman Leadership Award.
Hannan is a past board member of the Anti-Defamation League, the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, The Chicago Network, and Loras College. She is also a Girl Scout Alumnae, whose two daughters have benefited from the Girl Scout experience as well.
She becomes National Board President effectively immediately, with her term running at least through the 2017 Girl Scout triennium.