Lidia Soto-Harmon, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital (GSCNC), has a proven track record of success in the corporate, non-profit and government sectors. In 2010 she was appointed CEO after serving six years as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). The council serves 62,000 girls ages 5-17 in the District of Columbia and 25 counties in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
In her former role as COO, Ms. Soto-Harmon was directly responsible for creating many innovative programs to reach girls from underserved communities. She developed an annual conference, Encuentro de Chicas Latinas de las Girl Scouts, that reaches young Latinas with the message of leadership and academic success. She convened girls from the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County to Howard University to attend an annual conference, Your Turn to Lead, to encourage leadership skills and academic success, and also developed the DC Step Showcase at Trinity Washington University to celebrate the rich history of African-Americans. Today, the annual event is enjoyed by all Girl Scout troops in the region.
Prior to joining the council, Ms. Soto-Harmon served as Senior Vice President for Community Development for First Book, a national children’s literacy organization dedicated to getting new books into the hands of children from low-income families. She also served as the Deputy Director of the President’s Interagency Council on Women, chaired by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, at the U.S. Department of State, where she represented the United States at various United Nations’ conferences, including the annual Commission on the Status of Women. In the late 1990s. Soto-Harmon was also the Senior Director of the Fannie Mae Foundation’s Targeted Outreach Department, where she designed the first corporate nationwide multilingual strategy to reach new immigrants to promote homeownership in the United States.
She was a 2000 Fellow for the National Hispana Leadership Institute and participated with her NHLI Class in the Executive Seminar at Harvard’s Kennedy School. She completed Leadership Greater Washington in 2007, and is a 2008 member of the Executive Networks Class for the Greater Washington Board of Trade. She was named one of Nation’s Top 90 Women, Mentoring Leaders by Women of Wealth Magazine, 2011 Special Edition. She was also named Notimujer of the Week by CNN en Español for her work to reach young Latinas. Ms. Soto-Harmon serves as a Board Member for the Tahirih Justice Center, an organization that helps immigrant and refugee women seek protection from international human rights abuses.
Ms. Soto-Harmon grew up in Latin America and the United States. She earned her master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University and her bachelor’s degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. She is married and has two bilingual teenagers.