"What makes Frances outstanding is her ability to balance a clear mission repeated and repeated so that everybody who works with her knows it. She has the ability to adapt to opportunity very quickly. She has the integrity to think through the priority needs of the organization and of the people in it, and the willingness and ability to find the support for change and to build it."
Frances Hesselbein is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Leader to Leader Institute (formerly the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management) and its Founding President. Mrs. Hesselbein was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America's highest civilian honor, in 1998. The award recognized her leadership as Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. from 1976-1990, her role as the Founding President of the Drucker Foundation, and her service as "a pioneer for women, diversity and inclusion." Her contributions were also recognized by former President Bush, who appointed her to two Presidential Commissions on National and Community Service.
She serves on many nonprofit and private sector corporate boards, including the Board of the Mutual of America Life Insurance Company, New York, the Bright China Social Fund, as a Drucker Centennial Chair, the American Express Philanthropy, the Boards of the Center for Social Initiative at the Harvard Business School, the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Management at the Kennedy School, and U.C.S.D. Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and Center for Creative Leadership's Alliance Advisory Council. She was the Chairman of the National Board of Directors for Volunteers of America from 2002-2006 and is the recipient of twenty honorary doctoral degrees.
In 2009 the University of Pittsburgh introduced The Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement. The Academy's aim is to produce experience and ethical leaders who will address the most critical national and international issues and to advance positive social and economic initiatives throughout the world.
Mrs. Hesselbein was the first recipient of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.'s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mrs. Hesselbein was inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame at the 7th Annual Enterprising Women of the year Awards Celebration.
In 2008 Mrs. Hesselbein was presented with the International Leadership Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in Los Angeles, and the Tempo International Leadership Award in New York City. She was named a Senior Leader at the United States Military Academy, 2008 National Conference on Ethics in America. In 2007 Mrs. Hesselbein was awarded the John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship by Fulbright New Zealand. In 2006, Mrs. Hesselbein received three awards: Miss Hall's School Woman of Distinction Award from Miss Hall's School, the Champion of Workplace Learning and Performance Award from the American Society for Training and Development, and the Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service from Columbia University's Teachers College. In 2006, she gave commencement addresses at St. Mary's University, San Antonio, Texas, and The University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. In 2006, she sponsored the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Award for Research and the Frances Hesselbein Educator Leader Award at the U.S. Air Command and Staff College. During the Military Child Education Coalition's (MCEC) 8th Annual Conference in July 2006 the MCEC Board of Directors established the "Frances Hesselbein Student Leadership Program" in recognition of her dedication to the leadership development of the children of the military.
In 2004, Mrs. Hesselbein received the Juliette Award from Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. and the 2004 Visionary Award from the American Society of Association Executives Foundation. In 2003, the "Frances Hesselbein How-To-Be Award" was established and is presented annually at the Junior Achievement Worldwide Leadership Conference. The award recognizes Junior Achievement staff that lives the Junior Achievement values of integrity, respect, and excellence through their examples of positive ethical leadership. In 2002, Mrs. Hesselbein was the first recipient of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Security Series Award for her "outstanding contributions to America's national security." In 2001, Mrs. Hesselbein was awarded the Henry A. Rosso Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Ethical Fund Raising from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and the International ATHENA Award.
Mrs. Hesselbein is Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning quarterly journal Leader to Leader, and a co-editor of a book of the same name. She also is a co-editor of the Drucker Foundation's three-volume Future Series and Leading Beyond the Walls, and Leading for Innovation, Organizing for Results, the first two books in the Foundation's Wisdom to Action Series. She is co-editor with Dr. Marshall Goldsmith of The Organization of the Future 2: Visions, Strategies, and Insights on Managing In a New Era published in2009. She is the author of Hesselbein on Leadership and Be, Know, Do: Leadership the Army Way, introduced by General Eric K. Shinseki and Frances Hesselbein was published in February of 2004. She is the co-editor of 26 books in 28 languages.
"Frances Hesselbein devoted herself to changing lives for the better...She has worked to imbue other nonprofit groups with the hallmarks of true leadership; openness to innovation, willingness to share responsibility, and respect for diversity. With skill and sensitivity, Frances Hesselbein has shown us how to summon the best from ourselves and our fellow citizens."
"Ultimately a leader's ability to...galvanize co-workers resides in both understanding of oneself and of co-worker's needs and wants, and with what Frances Hesselbein has called their mission. Frances Hesselbein is a leader in whom competence, vision and virtue exist in nearly perfect balance."