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Girls Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania Announces New CEO


Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania's new CEO, retired Rear Admiral Janet Donovan

HARRISBURG, PA (August 6, 2019) – Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) today announced that retired Rear Admiral Janet Donovan has been appointed as the organization’s new CEO. Donovan will begin her duties on September 3. 

Donovan is a retired U.S. Navy Two Star Rear Admiral and former Deputy Commander in the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy with more than 20 years of executive experience in strategy development, talent management and collaboration. She has completed numerous professional development and executive training courses in strategic planning, strategic communication and innovation, coalition-building, finance and accounting, cyber security, risk management and ethics.

“GSHPA is delighted to welcome Janet to lead our council,” said Kathy McCorkle, chair of the GSHPA board. “Along with her leadership experience in the U.S. Navy, Janet has a deep knowledge of Girl Scouts having been a Girl Scout herself and having shepherded her three now-grown daughters through the Girl Scout experience. This was an important factor in her decision to apply for the CEO role.” 

Donovan’s recent activities have included numerous speaking engagements on women’s leadership, service on nonprofit boards of directors and participation in a statewide Lead Virginia visionary planning board, where she resided most recently. Donovan received her law degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. She and her husband, whose family hails from Hershey, are in the process of relocating to Central Pennsylvania.

“I have seen firsthand the character-building impact that Girl Scouts can make in the lives of young women,” said Donovan. “Girl Scouting provides a distinctive experience to prepare our next generation of confident and capable leaders.”

Donovan’s first priority will be to meet with girls, troop leaders and volunteers throughout the 30-county GSHPA service territory. Over the last three years, GSHPA has experienced record membership growth—even among its national peers—as a result of new and innovative programs that allow girls to participate in a range of activities from outdoor experiences to STEAM, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy, all in a supportive, encouraging, all-girl environment.