One of the most highly respected experts in the field of contemporary leadership development, Frances Hesselbein is the President and CEO of The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, founded as The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management and renamed in 2012 to honor Hesselbein’s legacy and ongoing contributions. Mrs. Hesselbein was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America’s highest civilian honor, in 1998 for her leadership as CEO of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. from 1976–1990, as well as her service as “a pioneer for women, volunteerism, diversity and opportunity.” Her contributions were also recognized by the first President Bush, who appointed her to two Presidential Commissions on National and Community Service.
In 2009, the University of Pittsburgh introduced The Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement. The Academy’s aim is to produce experienced and ethical leaders who will address critical national and international issues and advance positive social and economic initiatives throughout the world. Also in 2009 she began a 2-year appointment as the Class of 1951 Chair for the Study of Leadership at the United States Military Academy at West Point. She was the first woman, and the first non-graduate to serve in this chair.