A Note From Girl Scouts of Alaska’s New CEO Sue Perles

This is my second week on the job as Girl Scouts of Alaska’s new Chief Executive Officer. I’m excited about the coming year and looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible.

I’m making arrangements to visit many of the communities Girl Scouts of Alaska serves. It’s important that I meet and talk with as many of you as possible about what’s working and what you might like to see improve, so that we can best support you in delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Stay tuned for more details about where I’ll be visiting and when.

Juliette Gordon Low speaks with some of Girl Scouts’
earliest adult volunteers.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you a little bit about myself and why I wanted to be CEO of Girl Scouts of Alaska.

My family called Fairbanks home when I was a teenager. I spent summers working on the first all-women’s fire-fighting crew for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), interning for Alaska’s congressman, and working on a research project for the Alaska Native Corporations at the University of Alaska’s Institute for Social and Economic Research.

During the academic year I earned a degree in economics at Princeton. Following graduation, I worked in Washington at the Congressional Budget Office and then headed to Harvard Business School where I earned a Masters in Business Administration. While I was in business school, the Rhodes Scholarship opened applications to women. I attended Oxford as Alaska’s first female Rhodes Scholar where I earned a doctorate in economics, writing my thesis about bidding theory and oil and gas lease auctions.

Since then, I have focused on business, working for a management consulting firm, a large bank, and a small mergers and acquisitions firm. Throughout those years, I always volunteered to help children’s after-school programs — mostly children’s sports and recreation programs — grow and flourish.

Juliette Gordon Low understood the value of girls participating in sports and recreation. With the help of volunteer Edith Johnston, Girl Scouting’s first basketball tournament took place in Savannah, Georgia in 1912.

I understand what it is to be a volunteer and what it takes to offer successful after-school programs to children. Our girls deserve the very best we can offer and I look forward to working with you to bring an outstanding range of experiences to Alaska’s girls.

I feel privileged to have this opportunity to work with you to make a difference for girls in Alaska. As you know, the programs and services delivered by Girl Scouts wouldn’t be possible without our 1,500 volunteers to serve as mentors, role models, chaperones, and friends to girls.

Just as we always ask the girls what they want in order to keep our programs relevant and interesting to girls, I want to keep an open dialogue with our volunteers, to ensure that you, too, are engaged and have the resources to support the incredible experience of sharing your knowledge and wisdom with girls.

Collectively, volunteers contribute thousands of service hours to Girl Scouts.

I’m interested in hearing from you. In the coming weeks and months, start looking for my Facebook posts on the Girl Scouts of Alaska Facebook page, and on our blog. Feel free to comment and respond directly to me. I’ll do my best to answer your questions and I always welcome your input and ideas.

I look forward to sharing this exciting journey with you!

– Sue Perles

Girl Scouting gives every girl the confidence, tools, and experience to discover who she can be and what she can do.  Through activities related to science and technology, financial literacy, healthy living, adventure, and citizenship, Girl Scouts of Alaska provides Girl Scouts’ proven leadership development experience to Alaska’s diverse population of girls.


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