Arizona Community Foundation Selects New President & CEO

Anna Maria Chávez will join the Arizona Community Foundation as President & CEO in February 2023 following a national executive search process conducted by Carlson Beck and the ACF CEO Search Committee.

Anna Maria Chávez is an executive leader, attorney, inspirational speaker, writer, and community advocate. She has dedicated her career to advocating for others, especially underserved communities. In her most recent role, she served as the inaugural Chief Impact Officer for Encantos, an EdTech and Public Benefit Corporation where she was responsible for creating the Encantos Social Impact Foundation and led the organization’s philanthropic, education, publishing, and digital business.

“I am deeply honored to serve as the next President and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation,” said Chávez. “ACF is in a strong position, the ACF staff is exceptional, and the donors and partners are aligned with a great vision. I look forward to working with them and the many Arizonans who generously support the state’s greatest needs.”

Growing up in Eloy, Arizona, Chávez developed the leadership skills that would propel her into a career of public service. She held numerous posts in President Bill Clinton’s administration, and later returned to Arizona to serve then-governors Jane Hull and Janet Napolitano.

Her success led to her appointment as the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA where she served from 2011-2016. In 2016, Chávez was named as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine, cited for her vision and creativity in working to revitalize the Girl Scout brand for a new century. In April 2017, Chávez joined the National Council on Aging, the nation’s oldest advocacy organization dedicated to helping Americans navigate the challenges of aging, where she was ultimately appointed to serve as NCOA’s Interim President and Chief Executive Officer. Chávez then became the Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer of the National School Boards Association and served as an ex-officio director on its Board of Directors.

In 2021, Chávez was appointed as the inaugural Chief Impact Officer of Encantos, PBC and President of Encantos.org. She also served as President of Encantos Publishing. Under her leadership, Encantos was named one of the top 100 startups by Business Insider and was selected to be a part of Apple’s prestigious Entrepreneur Camp.

“Anna Maria brings her expertise and experience paired with a passion for ACF’s work, making her a uniquely qualified leader to guide ACF in improving the quality of life for Arizonans,” said Leezie Kim, Chair of the CEO Search Committee. “With a childhood rooted in Eloy and a professional career in public service to two Arizona governors, Anna Maria’s love and service to our community comes naturally.”

“After leading ACF for the last 13 years, I am proud to welcome Anna Maria as the next President and CEO for the Arizona Community Foundation,” said Steve Seleznow, outgoing ACF President & CEO. “While it is difficult for me to leave such a great organization, I am confident in the selection of Anna Maria and the senior leadership team in place will continue to meet the needs of the donors and community across the great state of Arizona.”

Chávez has received numerous awards and recognition throughout her career including, World’s 50 over 50 Leaders, Forbes Magazine, June 2021; Alumnae Achievement Award, Kappa Kappa Gamma, 2018; World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, Fortune Magazine, 2016; and the Medallion of Excellence Award in Education, Science, Medicine or Civil Rights, U.S. Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, 2016.

Chávez received her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and her Juris Doctorate and Honorary Doctor of Law from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. She and her husband, Rob, will be relocating to Arizona and their son, Michael, is attending the University of Arizona.

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