Oct 9, 2019
Lifelong Girl Scout, STEM champ, and advocate for girls and youth education, Sylvia Acevedo was appointed CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) in May, 2017. She assumed this notable position after having served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2009 to 2016 as an officer and member of its Executive Committee.Growing up in rural New Mexico, Girl Scouts nourished a love for math and science in Sylvia that would culminate in a career as a rocket scientist, engineer, and award winning STEM entrepreneur. She has held executive and engineering roles at leading technology companies such as Apple, Dell Computer Corporation, Autodesk Inc. and IBM.Sylvia began her career as a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she worked on NASA’s Voyager II mission, developing unique algorithms that analyzed the data Voyager II sent back to earth, helping NASA learn about Jupiter and its moon’s Io and Europa.Sylvia understands the U.S. education system and the challenges parents face in their children’s educational journey. Over the years Sylvia has spoken across the country about the importance of helping girls discover their strengths, passions, and talents. She served on the founding board of the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, Texas—the largest all-girls public school in the nation.To help narrow academic achievement gaps in America Sylvia co-authored the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Family Engagement curriculum. She is the author of Path to the Stars, an aspirational memoir for middle school students that focuses on her own journey of perseverance, hope, and achievement against the odds.Sylvia was one of the first Hispanic students, male or female, to earn a graduate engineering degree from Stanford University—an MS in industrial engineering—and she holds a bachelor of science degree with honors in industrial engineering from New Mexico State University.