Anna's Story

Anna Maria Chávez's experiences growing up in rural Arizona lit a passion for public service and social engagement that have defined Anna's educational and career paths. Her desire to transform the world through servant leadership led her to Yale University, before pursuing a juris doctorate at the University of Arizona.  She has since been admitted to the Bar of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, the Arizona Supreme Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Anna Maria Chavez young

Anna’s desire to serve led her to Washington, D.C. where she held numerous posts in President Bill Clinton's administration, including senior policy advisor to former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater and SBA Administrator Aida Alvarez.  She later returned to her home state of Arizona to serve then-governor Janet Napolitano.  

Rather than heading back to Washington, D.C. when the opportunity presented itself, Anna was inspired by what she saw as the opportunity to have an even greater impact by putting her efforts into growing leadership and championing diversity.  She moved her family to San Antonio, Texas where she served as the chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas.  Her success led to her appointment as the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA where she served with distinction from 2011-2016.

Anna Maria Chavez and Janet Napolitano
Anna Maria Chavez with girl scouts

Anna Maria Chávez was the first woman of color to lead the iconic Girl Scouts of the USA in their 104-year history with 2.7 million members in over 90 countries in the world and 59 million Girl Scout alumnae in America today. In 2016, she was named as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune magazine, cited for her vision and creativity in working to revitalize the Girl Scout brand for a new century.

Throughout her career, Anna has received numerous recognitions for her work, including being named one of FORTUNE's World’s Greatest Leaders of 2016.  She number 22 on Fast Company’s 2016 annual list of the most creative people in business and was inducted into the U.S. News & World Report’s STEM Leadership Hall of Fame.  She is the recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Community Service Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as well as the 2013 Graciela Olivarez La Raza Award from the National Council of La Raza

Anna Maria Chávez is now the Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer for the National Council on Aging, whose mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. In this role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the National Council on Aging (NCOA), the nation’s oldest service and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and economic security of older Americans. She ensures that NCOA’s fiscal, operations, fundraising, marketing, consumer experience, advocacy, human capital, technology, programmatic and organizational culture strategies are effectively implemented across all segments of the organization. Anna led the NCOA operations team in achieving NCOA’s 2020 social impact goal one year early in 2019.

Anna was promoted into this role after serving as NCOA’s Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President for External Affairs where she led the teams responsible for marketing and communications, fund development, strategic partnerships, public policy and advocacy and the National Institute for Senior Centers.

In her free time, Anna continues to write and travel the country, inspiring individuals and communities to step out of their comfort zones and do what only they can do to make the world a better place. 

If you're not doing one thing that you're scared about every day, you're not growing. - Anna Maria Chávez