Frances Hesselbein
Born (1915-11-01) 1 November 1915 (age 105)
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Alma materUniversity of Pittsburgh Johnstown Junior College
OccupationWriter, management consultant
AwardsPresidential Medal of Freedom

Frances Hesselbein (born 1 November 1915[1]) is the former CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, from 1976 to 1990, and is the president and CEO of the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum, at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership.[2][3][4]


Hesselbein took classes at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown Junior College in 1936.[5]

Between 1965 and 1976, she rose from volunteer troop leader to CEO and held the position of CEO for thirteen years until 1990.[2] During her tenure, the Girl Scouts attained a membership of 2.25 million girls with a workforce of 780,000, mainly volunteers.[6][3]

In 1990, Hesselbein left the Girl Scouts to run the Leader to Leader Institute (formerly known as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management).[2] After Drucker's death in 2005, the foundation was renamed after Hesselbein in 2012.[3]

In 2009, she helped to found the Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement at the University of Pittsburgh.[7][8][4]

Hesselbein is the co-editor of 27 books published in 29 languages and the author of Hesselbein on Leadership and My Life in Leadership.[7][8][failed verification]

Hesselbein serves on the boards of the Mutual of America Life Insurance Company, the Bright China Social Fund, California Institute of Advanced Management, and the Teachers College, Columbia University Presidents Advisory Council.[4]


In 1998, Hesselbein was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work with the Girl Scouts of the USA.[9] She turned 100 years old in November 2015.[10][4]

Hesselbein was denoted a Pitt Legacy Laureate of the University of Pittsburgh in 2000.[11][5] She has received 22 honorary doctoral degrees.[5]





  1. ^ "Pioneering woman, 101, credits success to lessons from 'community that cares'". Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Leahey, Colleen (9 November 2011). "Learning from Peter Drucker and the Girl Scouts". Fortune. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Unger, Amy (11 August 2017). "Frances Hesselbein: A Lifetime of Leadership". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d "Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum" (PDF).
  5. ^ a b c "Frances Hesselbein". University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown. Retrieved 9 April 2019.[dead link]
  6. ^ Hesselbein, Frances, foreword by Jim Collins, Hesselbein on Leadership, 2002
  7. ^ a b "Frances Hesselbein". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  8. ^ a b Gill, Cindy (Winter 2010). "To Serve is To Live". Pitt Magazine. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  9. ^ Hesselbein, Frances, foreword by Jim Collins, My Life in Leadership, 2011
  10. ^ Jodi Duckett (11 December 2015). "Birthday party for 'world leader' Frances Hesselbein of Easton". The Morning Call. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  11. ^ "The Legacy Laureates – Excellence across a broad range". Pitt Campaign Chronicle. University of Pittsburgh. 23 October 2000. Retrieved 30 July 2011.