Girl Scouts of the USA Expands Focus on Adult Leadership Development

Teams with Leader to Leader Institute and Oxford Leadership Academy to Help Staff and Volunteers Become Models of Leadership Excellence


August 21, 2007

Michelle L. Tompkins
Girl Scouts of the USA
(212) 852-5074

Lisa Harris
(212) 229-0500

New York, N.Y.—Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has joined forces with two top leadership development organizations—the Leader to Leader Institute and the Oxford Leadership Academy—to build leadership skills among staff and all of the nearly one million adult Girl Scouts who work primarily as volunteers.

The nonprofit Leader to Leader Institute, which provides services and resources to strengthen the leadership of the social sector, has partnered with GSUSA to create a unified response to the needs of current and emerging leaders worldwide. The Oxford Leadership Academy, an international management consultancy and executive development company, is designing a strategy to equip the nearly one million adult Girl Scouts to model leadership excellence.

These collaborations complement the new Girl Scout leadership programming to be introduced to girls in 2008 and support the organization-wide transformation of Girl Scouting to focus on leadership development for girls in the 21st century. "Girl Scout staff and volunteers provide an early picture of leadership for nearly three million girls, so it is imperative that they model leadership excellence," says Kathy Cloninger, CEO of GSUSA. "The time has never been more critical to discuss what the next generation of leaders will need to become the very best they can be and how we can support them in their leadership development journey."

On Sept. 8, GSUSA will sponsor an Invitational Leadership Conference co-hosted by the Leader to Leader Institute and facilitated by the Oxford Leadership Academy. More than 60 thought leaders and adult Girl Scouts will gather at the Edith Macy Conference Center in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., to discuss the future of leadership in America and begin creating an approach for addressing leadership development among adult Girl Scouts. Attendees will include Frances Hesselbein, Chairman of the Leader to Leader Institute and former CEO of GSUSA; conference facilitator Brian Bacon, founder and president of the Oxford Leadership Academy; Kathy Cloninger CEO of GSUSA; corporate and nonprofit executives; entrepreneurs; academicians; activists; and Girl Scout executive staff.

Following the conference, the Oxford Leadership Academy will conduct online discussions with regional Girl Scout offices nationwide and will create a strategy that equips adult Girl Scouts to model leadership excellence, help GSUSA and its local councils build more effective relationships, and support training for volunteers that builds stronger skills for career and community activities. In the end, the success of the program should yield direct expansion in girl leadership skill-building.

The decision to expand the focus on adult leadership development results from the core business strategy GSUSA launched in 2006. The core business strategy addresses every area of the Girl Scout organization and has been designed to revitalize the Girl Scout brand, create new fundraising models, improve volunteer systems and significantly realign the national Girl Scout council infrastructure—all to best serve girls.

About Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.6 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouting is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.  The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girls Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries.  For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U (800-478-7248) or visit www.girlscouts.org.

About the Leader to Leader Institute
The Leader to Leader Institute's mission is to strengthen the leadership of the social sector. Established in 1990 as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, the Institute furthers its mission by providing social sector leaders with the essential leadership wisdom, inspiration and resources to lead for innovation and to build vibrant social sector nonprofit organizations. It is this essential social sector, in collaboration with its partners in the private and public sectors, that changes lives and builds a society of healthy children, strong families, decent housing, good schools and work that dignifies, all embraced by the diverse, inclusive, cohesive community that cares about all of its people.

About the Oxford Leadership Academy
The Oxford Leadership Academy is an international management consultancy and executive development company providing values-based leadership and strategic management services to business, governments and international agencies. The organization provides executive development programs and management consultancy from its own offices in Oxford, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Hong Kong as well as through a network of consultancy affiliates and accredited trainers in 15 countries.