Anna Maria Chávez

Anna Maria Chávez, named one of the “World’s Greatest Leaders” by Fortune magazine, will be the keynote speaker at the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show on Jan. 18 in Boston.

Chávez uses her 25 years of public service and nonprofit leadership experience to teach others about teamwork, inclusion and diversity, resilience, leadership and motivation. Her recent speaking engagements include conferences of the National League of Cities and the International City/County Management Association.

Fortune named Chávez to its list of greatest leaders in 2016, alongside Pope Francis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, citing Chávez’s transformative work as CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA from 2011 to 2016.

“When Chávez, the first person of color to head the [Girl] Scouts, took the helm in 2011, the 104-year-old institution seemed to be creeping toward anachronism,” Fortune wrote. “Not anymore. Chávez has added new badges in fields like financial literacy and STEM education.”

Chávez’s work with the Girls Scouts, which included an organizational redesign, led to her induction into the U.S. News & World Report’s STEM Leadership Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2014, Fast Company honored her as one of the most creative people in business.

Along with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In organization, Chávez led the creation of the “Ban Bossy” campaign, which aims to eliminate the stigma associated with the word “bossy” and encourage girls to become leaders.

Chávez’s personal experiences growing up in rural Arizona developed her passion for public service and social engagement. After completing her law degree, she held several posts in President Bill Clinton’s administration, including senior policy advisor to Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater and Small Business Administration Administrator Aida Alvarez.

Under then-Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona, Chávez served as the director of intergovernmental affairs, where she established a close working relationship with local elected and appointed officials across the state. She  also served as Napolitano’s deputy chief of staff for urban relations and community development, where she launched the governor’s Aging 2020 initiative and created the Arizona Division of Aging and Adult Services.

Chávez, 50, is now helping to improve the lives of older adults as the executive vice president and chief growth officer at the National Council on Aging, the nation’s oldest advocacy organization dedicated to helping Americans navigate the challenges of aging. Chávez is responsible for advancing the council’s mission to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020.

For her work supporting and empowering Hispanic communities, Chávez received the Excellence in Community Service Award in 2013 from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where she also serves on the Board of Directors. She received the Graciela Olivarez La Raza Award from UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza) in 2013.

Chávez earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a juris doctorate at the University of Arizona. She received the Law College Association Award in 2013 and an honorary doctor of laws degree from her law school alma mater in 2014.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Robert, and their son Michael.