New York - A Mexican-American woman has been appointed to lead the Girl Scouts as an increasing number of Hispanics join the leadership organization.

The New York-based nonprofit announced last week it has selected Anna Maria Chavez as its new chief executive officer.

The organization says it has seen a 55 percent increase in the number of Hispanic girls who have joined its ranks over the past 10 years. They account for about 12 percent of the nearly 2.3 million girls.

Chavez has been the chief executive of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas since 2009. She takes over for CEO Kathy Cloninger, who is retiring.

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