225 Stories to Celebrate | Frances Hesselbein: Reshaping Leadership

Issue Date: 
March 5, 2012

When Frances Hesselbein won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998, President Clinton praised her “openness to innovation, willingness to share responsibility, and respect for diversity.”

Hesselbein began her career in leadership in 1960 as a volunteer troop leader for the Girl Scouts. Sixteen years later, she was tapped to become CEO of the Girls Scouts of the USA. Emphasizing a message of inclusiveness and empowerment, Pitt alum Hesselbein tripled minority membership and revitalized the Girls Scouts organization.

Management guru Peter Drucker later selected Hesselbein as founding president and CEO of his nonprofit leadership organization, the Leader to Leader Institute. Through the institute and as editor of many leadership books, Hesselbein promotes management based on character and ethics, rather than the bottom line.

In 2009, Pitt created the Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement at Pitt, dedicated to producing ethical leaders who will advance social and economic initiatives throughout the world.

For more stories about Pitt's legacy of achievement or to share your own stories about the University, visit www.225.pitt.edu.