Frances Hesselbein

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Frances Hesselbein
Born (1915-11-01) November 1, 1915 (age 103)
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 President and CEO of the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute[2] (briefly known as the Leader to Leader Institute[3] and founded as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management[4]) and is its Founding President.

Prior to founding the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, Hesselbein served as the CEO for the Girl Scouts of the USA.[5] Between 1965 and 1976, she rose from volunteer troop leader to CEO and held the position of CEO for fourteen years (1976–1990). Hesselbein was the first chief executive to come from within the field in 67 years. She is credited with leading a turnaround for the Girl Scouts, increasing their minority membership and establishing the Daisy Scout program for the youngest girls accepted into the Girl Scouts.

During her tenure, the Girl Scouts attained a membership of 2.25 million girls with a workforce of 780,000, mainly volunteers.[6]

Hesselbein attended the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown Junior College in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and is the recipient of twenty honorary doctoral degrees. She is editor-in-chief of the award-winning quarterly journal Leader to Leader and is the editor, coeditor, or author of twenty-eight books published in twenty-nine languages. Hesselbein has traveled to sixty-eight countries to represent the United States. She is the author of Hesselbein on Leadership and My Life in Leadership. She also helped to found the Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement at the University of Pittsburgh.[7][8]

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


  • Presidential Medal of Freedom, United States of America
  • Legion of Honor Gold Medallion, The Chapel of Four Chaplains
  • Distinguished Community Service Award, Mutual of America Life Insurance Company
  • National Professional Leadership Award, United Way of America
  • Excellence in Leadership Award and the Foundation Director's Choice Award, National Women's Economic Alliance
  • Wilbur M. McFeely Award, International Management Council, YMCA
  • National Entrepreneurial Woman Award, Women Business Owners of New York
  • Distinguished Citizen of the Commonwealth Award, Pennsylvania Society
  • GALA 12 Award, Birmingham-Southern College
  • Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania, Governor of Pennsylvania
  • Greater Johnstown Pennsylvania Business Hall of Fame
  • Distinguished Alumni Fellows Award, University of Pittsburgh
  • Woman of the Year, Boy Scouts of Greater New York
  • Legacy Laureate, University of Pittsburgh[11]
  • William Thurston Award, Kids Peace
  • Henry A. Rosso Award for Lifetime Achievement in Ethical Fundraising, Indiana University
  • ATHENA International Award
  • Marion Gislason Award, Boston University
  • Juliette Award, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
  • Visionary Award, American Society of Association Executives
  • R.J. McElroy Scholar Award, University of Northern Iowa
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower National Security Series Award
  • Miss Hall's Woman of Distinction Award, Miss Hall's School
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship, Fulbright New Zealand
  • Leadership Award, Tempo International
  • International Leadership Association, Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Enterprising Women Hall of Fame, Enterprising Women Magazine
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
  • ATHENA International Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Best Practice Institute Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), Champion for Drug-Free Kids



  • Hesselbein, Frances, Foreword by Jim Collins, My Life in Leadership, 2011
  • Hesselbein, Frances, and General Eric K. Shinseki, United States Army, Ret. Be, Know, Do: Leadership the Army Way, 2004
  • Hesselbein, Frances, Foreword by Jim Collins, Hesselbein on Leadership, 2002


partial list

  • Editor-in-Chief, Leader to Leader, quarterly journal, 1996 to present.
  • Hesselbein, Frances and Marshall Goldsmith, eds. The Organization of the Future 2: Visions, Strategies, and Insights on Managing in a New Era, 2009.



  1. ^ "Pioneering woman, 101, credits success to lessons from 'community that cares'". Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  2. ^ Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute:
  3. ^ Leader to Leader Institute: Archived 3 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management:
  5. ^ Girl Scouts of the USA:
  6. ^ Hesselbein, Frances, foreword by Jim Collins, Hesselbein on Leadership, 2002
  7. ^ "Hesselbein Global Academy: Frances Hesselbein". University of Pittsburgh. 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  8. ^ 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 (2015-12-11). "Birthday party for 'world leader' Frances Hesselbein of Easton". The Morning Call. Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  11. ^ "The Legacy Laureates – Excellence across a broad range". Pitt Campaign Chronicle. University of Pittsburgh. 23 October 2000. Retrieved 30 July 2011.

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