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Anna María Chavez, LCDA member.
Chávez is a member of the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA). Graphic: Mónica Hernández/Al Día News.

Anna María Chávez appointed as president and CEO at Arizona Community Foundation (ACF)

The Latina leader has experience in non-profit leadership organizations.

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Following a national executive search process conducted by Carlson Beck and ACF's Executive Director Search Committee, the Board of Directors recently announced the election of this leader who will join the organization in February 2023.

A noted advocate for youth and seniors, as well as for her experience in government relations and education, Chávez is an attorney, inspirational speaker, writer, and advocate for diverse communities.

The executive leader stated:

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.

Career 

Chávez, who since her inception has focused on a career of public service, held numerous positions during the Clinton administration.

Upon her return to Arizona, she worked alongside then-Governors Jane Hull and Janet Napolitano, serving in roles as Deputy Chief of Staff, Urban Relations and Community Development/Military Affairs Advisor, where she oversaw the Governor's staff and departments on aging, Latino issues, faith-based and community initiatives, housing, emergency management, equal opportunity, human services, veterans services, and juvenile corrections.

“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. 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,” said Leezie Kim, chair of the CEO Search Committee. 

Chávez, who received her BA from Yale University and her Juris Doctorate and Honorary Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers School of Law, was noted as executive director of the Girl Scouts of the USA from 2011 to 2016.

In 2017, she joined the National Council on Aging (NCOA), the nation's oldest advocacy organization dedicated to helping Americans overcome the challenges of aging, as chief strategy officer and senior vice president of External Affairs, rising to occupy the role of interim president and chief executive officer.

In her most recent role, Chávez served as the inaugural Impact Director of Encantos, an EdTech and Public Benefit corporation where she was responsible for creating the Encantos Social Impact Foundation and led the organization's philanthropic, educational, publishing, and digital business.

Under her leadership, Encantos was named one of Business Insider's Top 100 Startups and was selected to be part of Apple's prestigious Entrepreneur Camp. Investors in Encantos include major firms, such as Kapor Capital, Steve Case's Revolution Rise of the Rest Fund, Chelsea Clinton's Metrodora Capital, and L'ATTITUDE Ventures.

“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. 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,” said Steve Seleznow, outgoing ACF president and CEO. 

Acknowledgments

  • In 2016, Chávez was named one of the 50 greatest leaders in the world by Fortune magazine.
  • Also in 2016, she was awarded the Medallion Award for Excellence in Education, Science, Medicine or Civil Rights by the US Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
  • In 2018 she was awarded the Alumni Achievement Award, Kappa Kappa Gamma.
  • In 2021, she received the World's 50 over 50 Leaders from Forbes Magazine.
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