Anna Maria Chávez is one of the world’s top experts on women’s leadership, youth development and draws from her 25 years of public service and non-profit leadership to teach on teamwork, inclusion and diversity, resiliency, leadership and self-motivation. Her keen insights and dynamic presentations have inspired thousands of individuals around the globe to lead authentically and has helped organizations to work together more collaboratively and create dynamic impact. Anna has appeared on CBS News, NBC’s The Today Show, FOX News Channel, CNBC’s Squawk Box, CNN, Bloomberg Radio, NPR, and she’s a contributing writer on Huffington Post.
As a speaker, facilitator and moderator, Anna teaches, inspires and motivates people of all ages to become better business, government, community and family leaders. Anna’s style of sharing uplifting stories from her personal and professional life and from her extensive travel and work with young leaders from over 90 countries resonates with the audience. Her messages not only teach and inspire, but also motivate people to make life and career changing decisions.
Anna is a lawyer, celebrated speaker and award-winning thought leader. She has been named one of FORTUNE’s World’s Greatest Leaders of 2016 and was named number 22 by Fast Company in its annual list of the most creative people in business. She brings a wealth of experience from previous legal, public policy, non-profit management, and brand management positions in Arizona, Texas, Washington D.C. and New York City.
Today, Anna serves as the inaugural Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President for the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and continues to travel the country to captivate audiences and individuals as she illustrates and instructs on the mindset and ethos of servant leadership.
Fr0m 2011-2016, Chávez was the first woman of color to lead the iconic Girl Scouts of the USA in their 104-year history. Prior to becoming chief executive officer of the national organization, Anna served as the chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. Her success there earned her the respect and recognition of GSUSA’s National Board.
Her 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 make the world a better place led her from her hometown to Yale University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree before pursuing a juris doctorate at the James E. Rogers College of Law 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.
Professionally, Anna’s interest in serving others brought her first to Washington D.C., where she held numerous posts in President 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 as deputy chief of staff for urban relations and community development under then-Governor Janet Napolitano.
Lauded for her leadership, Anna received the 2013 Law College Association Award and a 2014 honorary Doctors of Laws degree from her law school alma mater, the University of Arizona. She has been recognized as one of the 100 Women Leaders in STEM by STEMconnector and in 2016, Anna was inducted into the U.S. News & World Report’s STEM Leadership Hall of Fame.
Also in 2016, Anna was awarded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s highest honor, the 2016 Medallion of Excellence Award, during its Annual Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. with U.S. President Barack Obama.
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. In addition, the Arizona National Guard presented Anna with the Adjutant General’s Medal and the Diversity Champion Leadership Award.