Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts (GSEMA), the largest girl-serving organization in Massachusetts and 10th largest Girl Scout council in the United States, announced Deb Taft as its new Board Chair and President. Taft was voted into this position at Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’ annual meeting in May.
A longtime respected leader in the nonprofit sector, Taft is CEO and co-owner of Lindauer, a global search and talent firm serving nonprofits in the education, health and science, arts and culture, policy and advocacy, and civic and social justice arenas. She previously led domestic and global consulting practices for nonprofits around the world as Senior EVP and Managing Director for Grenzebach Glier and Associates in Chicago.
In addition, Taft served as Chief Development Officer and Interim Chief Strategy Officer for Girl Scouts of the USA in New York. As one of the most senior officers in this iconic leadership organization representing girls in 112 US councils and 94 countries, she played a critical role in transforming organizational talent, culture, and social impact, including leading the $1 billion ToGetHerThere campaign, at the time the largest fundraising campaign for girls in the world, and the global alumnae initiative to engage 59 million former Girl Scouts. Taft held prior executive and senior roles at Simmons University, Tufts Medical Center and Tufts Hospital for Children, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, and Concord Academy. Taft was one of the founding team members of City Year, which today has youth service teams in more than 31 regions across the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Africa.
“Girl Scouting has been part of my life since I was a child and I have had the honor of serving the organization in many different capacities including camp counselor, staff member and volunteer,” said Deb Taft. “Girl Scouts introduces girls to all kinds of opportunities that they may not otherwise experience from exploring STEM, learning and combatting climate change, testing themselves in the outdoors, and developing leadership and entrepreneurial skills. The sky is the limit at Girl Scouts, and I am proud to be a part of such an inclusive and innovative organization focused on girl empowerment.”
Taft joined GSEMA’s Board of Directors in 2020 and has previously served as Chair of the Fund Development Committee and been a member of the Long Range Property Planning Advisory Group, Finance Committee, and Executive Committee. She is a 2019 Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’ Leading Women recipient.
Taft also serves on the board of The Giving Institute and recently completed her term as Board Chair of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in Washington, DC, a role that includes serving as the lead volunteer for all of HRC’s LGBTQ civil rights efforts throughout New England. She continues to advance inclusion and equity in fundraising, philanthropy, and nonprofit leadership through her current work with Allies in Action for Women of Color in Philanthropy (WŌC), Giving USA, the Executive Search Roundtable for the American Council on Education, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Taft holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an MBA from Simmons University.