The Boy Scouts of America National Council today elected AT&T’s chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson as its national president. In the volunteer role, Stephenson will lead the National Executive Board, which guides the Scouting organization in serving 2.3 million youth members.
Stephenson is the BSA’s 36th president. He follows former secretary of defense Robert Gates and will serve two one-year terms.
“I thank Dr. Gates for his vision and leadership these past two years, and I’m honored to build on his work,” Stephenson said in a written statement. “The Boy Scouts of America remains one of the best character-building and leadership development organizations in the world.”
Stephenson was named chairman and CEO of AT&T in 2007. He joined the BSA Executive Board in 2005 and became a member of its executive committee in 2008.
In his farewell remarks, Gates talked about how the organization handled its recent challenges regarding allowing gay members and gay leaders.
“Significantly, membership in recent months has begun to move in a positive direction for the first time in many years,” Gates said.
He added that membership has gone from a loss of nearly 8 percent in 2013 to a 3.9 percent loss last year and a 2.8 percent loss this year. Plus, retention rates are up, so there is hope of net positive growth through the rest of this year, he said.
The BSA moved its headquarters from New Jersey to Irving in 1979. Irving is also home to the National Scouting Museum. To learn more, visit scouting.org.
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