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2020.07 - CoA

Council of Advisors

Become a Member of our Council of Advisors

Participating on the Council of Advisors enables you to lend your leadership and vision to USAGSO and contribute to defining its path forward. If you are interested in serving or nominating another, please see below for more information.

How to Apply

Call for Nominations

USA Girl Scouts Overseas is pleased to announce the call for nominations of new members to serve on its Council of Advisors. 

The Council of Advisors was created for the purpose of supporting the work of USAGSO in fundraising, marketing/public relations, and strategic planning. The Council of Advisors provides input on matters of policy that directly concern the delivery of the Girl Scout program overseas. 

Council of Advisor Terms

An Advisor shall serve a term of three years and may serve no more than two consecutive terms. The Council of Advisors meet six times per year; one meeting is in person (date and location to be determined).

For more information about the specific responsibilities of the Council of Advisors, please visit the CoA page of the USAGSO website.


A Council of Advisor member must:

  • Be a registered member of USA Girl Scouts Overseas (or will become a member during the nomination process) 
  • Reside overseas in a location with an active USAGSO program  

Nomination Process

The Council of Advisors Development Committee seeks nominees who reflect our diverse membership and who will actively participate in supporting the mission and functions of the organization.

Instructions for Submitting Nominations

Individuals may self-nominate.  All nominations must include:

  • The name and contact information of the nominee and the nominator (if applicable)
  • A statement of interest (500 words or less) that describes why the nominee would be a valuable addition to USAGSO’s Council of Advisors and that outlines the nominee’s specific strengths and areas of expertise
  • Vitae or resume

To access the online application, please click here.

Please contact Sjoukje Neil at  with any questions. 

USAGSO's Council of Advisors (CoA) was created for the purpose of supporting the work of USAGSO in fundraising, marketing/public relations, and strategic planning. The Council of Advisors provides input on matters of policy that directly concern the delivery of the Girl Scout program overseas.  

The CoA members bring a strong background and the expertise necessary to support the work of USA Girl Scouts Overseas.  For more information about the specific responsibilities of the Council of Advisors, please view the CoA Member Responsibilities.

Amanda Chehrezad

Amanda Chehrezad has lived and worked overseas for the last 15 years. Most recently she served as USAGSO’s Regional Director in Tokyo, Japan, where she was also a Girl Scout parent. Amanda supported staff and volunteers through the adoption of volunteer systems, online registration, and the strategic planning process. She is a Lifetime Member of Girl Scouts and has been an active volunteer for USAGSO in Tokyo and Mexico.

Prior to her work with USAGSO, Amanda has been the Women’s Leadership Program Manager at US Japan Council – TOMODACHI initiative in Japan, a U.S. Department of State Senior Program Manager Contractor in Mexico City, and started her own business while living in Bogota Colombia. Amanda has a BA from the University of California in Davis, an MBA from Temple University, and she expects to complete her Doctorate in Business Administration in 2022.  Amanda currently lives in Mexico City with her husband and three children.

Kristine D’Alesandro
Krissy DAlesandro

Kristine D’Alesandro is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts and has served on the Council of Advisors since its inception in 2016.  She assumed the role of Chair in January 2020.  Kristine also served as Vice-Chair for two years and has been a member of numerous committees of the Council of Advisors.  She has served with USA Girl Scouts Overseas and Nation’s Capital in numerous leadership roles for the past ten years to include Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2010-2011), Arlington, Virginia (2011-2013), Hanoi, Vietnam (2013-2016), La Paz, Bolivia (2016-2018), Falls Church, Virginia (2018-2019), and Beijing, China (2019-Present).

Kristine is an attorney focused on human rights and the advancement of the rights of women and girls is a core component of her professional work.  She recently accepted a position with the Political Section at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China.  Prior to Beijing, she worked as a Consular Assistant at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia.  Prior to Bolivia, she worked as a Political Analyst at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam.  Prior to Hanoi, Kristine worked at the then-U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba as a Program Coordinator in its Public Affairs Section.  Prior to Havana, Kristine had served as a trial attorney and associate legal counsel with both the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security in San Francisco, California and Washington, DC from 2001-2007.  In November 2016, Kristine was recognized by the Department of State as the Eligible Family Member of the Year for her work advancing human rights in Vietnam.

Kristine received a Juris Doctor in 2000 from the University of Baltimore, School of Law.  She received her undergraduate degree in International Business with a Minor in Spanish in 1996 from Loyola University Maryland.  Her previous Board experience includes the Board of Trustees of the American Cooperative School of La Paz, Bolivia from 2016-2018, where she served as President from 2017-2018.  She is married and has three daughters -- all Girl Scouts!

Kathleen Fitzsimmons
Kathleen Fitzsimmons

Kathleen Fitzsimmons is an American academic and manager with extensive experience in business and academia, and 25+ years in Italy. She is professor and director of the Business Studies Program at The American University of Rome, where she has been on the faculty since 1998.  She directs the degree programs in Business Administration and Travel & Tourism Management, and coordinates the AUR Honors Exchange.  

Kathleen received a BA in Journalism from Duquesne University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Known at AUR for her student focus and her #smartchicks hashtag, Kathleen has created a number of programs to create opportunities for students, including the expanded Internship Program, the AURA study abroad program, the Emory Honors Exchange, the AUR Business Club, AUR Campus Girl Scouts (2008-11), consulting projects with local organizations and the series of Business Field Studies. Prior to her entering academe, she held various roles in marketing management with Time Inc. in New York and Playtex Italia in Rome. 

Kathleen is a long-time volunteer with USAGSO, first as a leader of her daughter's troops (2000-08) and Events Chair of the local committee (2003-08), then as Chair of USAGSO Rome (2008-11), and is currently serving a second term on the National Council (2011-14 and 2017-20) . In recognition of her work as Coordinator of the European Global Learning Conference hosted in 2013 by The American University of Rome (which has become the home of USAGSO Rome), Kathleen was awarded the Thanks Badge at the 2014 ALC Awards Ceremony.  She was tapped in 2015 to be a member of the Governance Task Force that designed the Council of Advisors, and then appointed in 2016 to the CoA.  Kathleen has just renewed for a second three-year term, and is Council Development Chair.  

Chief among Kathleen's passions is creating opportunities for young women and mentoring them into being the #smartchicks of today and tomorrow.

Rebecca Jaeger

Rebecca Jaeger is the mother of two teenage daughters (Lillian and Evelyn), a military spouse of 22 years (Jason), and has two fur babies (a cat named Jewels and a dog named Bouncer). Her daughters are active Girl Scouts and she has watched the GS program mold them into leaders and create in them a love of service. The opportunities and lifetime memories that her girls have been provided while living abroad, because of Girl Scouts Overseas, have been invaluable to the entire family. Rebecca is currently an independent vendor with a government entity, providing IT services to 1,200 users worldwide. She is thrilled to be able to work 100% remotely, which was only a dream when she started in the IT field two decades ago. Rebecca holds an MS in Information Technology and Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance from UMUC, a BBA in Information and Operations Management from Texas A&M University, and several professional certifications: CompTIA Security+, A+, MOUS Master Instructor, and CIW Professional. She loves using technology for good instead of evil. Rebecca's experiences with USAGSO started in Japan, first as a leader and then as the Yokota Overseas Chair, lead her to the Global Facilitator program, then to Germany where she is currently a Cadette leader and the Ramstein GS Store Manager. She has lead Outdoor Camping trainings, Higher Awards trainings, Program Aid programs, and serves as a National Volunteer Partner. She was part of the team that developed USAGSO’s first ever Virtual Troop program and has collaborated on GDPR and COPPA guidance. Her most-recent passion has been focused on developing training and materials for our volunteers on the topic of Inclusion. In her spare time, she loves hiking, music, and reads 30 to 40 books per year. Rebecca is so excited for their upcoming move to her hometown of San Antonio, Texas, which will be her 43rd move and (who knows?) could be their last. She is thrilled about the opportunity to serve with USAGSO's Council of Advisors and furthering the mission of making Girl Scouts available for our girls living overseas!

Kelley Kagele

Kelley Kagele is a proud mother to four children and wife to a retired Air Force airman. Over the past 29 years she has lived in eight different cities in five different countries during her husband’s military career. She currently lives in Bydgoszcz, Poland where her husband works at a NATO base. She currently owns an English Language school and is an English textbook consultant. Kelley’s previous work & volunteer experience includes YMCA Director, YMCA national trainer, Red Cross trainer, Rotary, United Way, USO and many other military base organizations. She has BA in Business Management and a MBA certificate in Nonprofit leadership from Park University, Missouri. Her previous Girl Scout experience includes lifelong membership since 1st grade, International Wide Opportunity participate, Gold Award recipient, troop leader, Camp director, Overseas Committee Chair, and Trainer to name a few.

Deb Gerardi Kemper
Deb Kemper

Deb Kemper is an active angel investor and mentor to early stage start-up companies. Deb led deal flow for the Boston Chapter of Golden Seeds since 2014 and was the Chair of the Boston Chapter from 2015 through 2017.   She is also a member of Clean Energy Venture Group and on the Advisory Board of Red Bear Angels. Her investment focus is high growth companies in the clean tech, health care, and technology sectors.  She is a Board Member at Day One Response, and a Board Observer at DayZero Diagnostics and 99DegreesCustom.   Deb serves on several non-profit boards including the Council of Advisors of USA Girl Scouts Overseas.   Deb was a consultant with McKinsey & Company where she served clients in the energy, electronics, and healthcare sectors. Her functional experience spans manufacturing, product development, operations, strategy, and leadership development.  She has provided leadership support to organizations in China, Peru and the United States.  Deb earned her MBA from The Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College where she was named an Edward Tuck Scholar.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Cornell, where she graduated With Distinction and was a member of the Varsity Women’s Crew.  As an alumna, she is serving on the advisory boards of Entrepreneurship@Cornell and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

Kathy Limbaugh
Kathy Limbaugh

Kathy Limbaugh initially became involved in Girl Scouts as an adult to support her girls, although she was a North Atlantic Served Girl Scout in London, England growing up. Initially a Daisy troop leader for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, she moved to Shanghai, China and served as Brownie leader and Learning Facilitator. Upon moving to Basel, Switzerland, she was a Junior and Senior leader and has sat on the Overseas Committee Management Team (OCMT) as a Programme Manager, Registrar, Webmaster, Quartermaster, and High Awards Coordinator. Currently, Kathy resides in Pennsylvania, serving as Service Unit Manager, Registrar and Troop Leader for the Brandywine Valley.

Kathy has been a global citizen since childhood.  Born in Brazil and raised in Europe, Kathy came to the US for the first time during high school.  Kathy earned a Bachelor of Engineering and Science degree in BioMedical Engineering, Math and Chemistry from Vanderbilt University. After university, Kathy was an Information Technology and Supply Chain Consultant, mainly supporting large global Chemical and Energy companies. Her specialty is helping large corporate entities in business transformation, best practices and operational excellence.

Kathy and her husband Steve are raising two Girl Scout daughters - already leaders in their own right.

Laurie Menzel

Laurie Menzel is a Girl Scout Lifetime member, beginning as a Brownie in Honolulu and has found memories of “Camp Menehune”. She has served in a variety of volunteer roles from Girl Scout Troop Leader to USAGSO-NA Board Chair, 2010-2014. Laurie credits Girl Scouts with providing critical life skills to not only herself but her daughter through all their moves as a military family. She was on staff with Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital as an Individual Giving Officer and Membership Specialist. While on staff, she worked closely with volunteers to identify and cultivate potential gifts from their peer members; created major donor recognition events and training for their board members on fundraising.

Currently, Laurie is a Major Gifts Officer for The Rotary Foundation. She has over 15 years’ experience in the Nonprofit sector working for a variety of nonprofits. She earned a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Management from Regis University and the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification.

Through challenging nonprofit leadership positions and business ownership, she gained a solid background in financial oversight, strategic planning, volunteer management, and fund development. She has led successful large scale fundraising events and trained boards in the importance of a culture of philanthropy.

Her other love is for fitness, especially teaching youth the benefits of exercise and healthy eating. She was a Jazzercise Franchise owner for over 13 years, operating multiple locations both in the US and abroad.

She and her husband, Ralph, live in Alexandria, VA, after spending almost 18 years in various overseas locations. They have one daughter, Meredith, who also resides in the greater Washington area.

Melinda Murphy
Melinda pic

Melinda started Girl Scouts in her small Texas town as a Brownie and went all the way through earning her First Class Award, the earlier version of a Gold. A busy career as an EMMY-award winning television journalist took her away from Girl Scouting for many years. Primarily a feature reporter, Melinda also did breaking news including covering 9/11 which earned her an EMMY nod. Melinda left television after a stint as a network television correspondent working for CBS News.

After moving to Singapore in 2012, Melinda got involved with Girl Scouting again, leading her daughter’s troop ever since while working as a print journalist in Singapore. In 2018, she was named Singapore’s Journalist of the Year. The recipient of the Thanks Badge, Melinda has held many roles in Singapore: OCC, Secretary and Trainer. A natural-born events manager, she’s also overseen the Father Daughter Dance, Day Camp, the Singapore Scurry (an Amazing Race event for older girls), Adventure Day, Cadette Journey-in-a-Day, Closing Ceremonies and much more. This year, she organized Scouts & Guides Care, a letter writing campaign which united all 18,000 Scouts and Guides in Singapore from eight international groups and more than 30 nationalities to thank health care workers on the front line of the COVID-19 virus. She’s been a Master Global Facilitator for four years as well as a National Volunteer Partner.

Sjoukje Neil
sneil resized

Sjoukje Neil lives in Bottmingen, Switzerland, where she is a Managing Consultant for ChangeFocus GmbH, Switzerland.  She also serves as a Non-Executive Director for MeeTwo Ltd., an award-winning mental health app for teens.  Sjoukje has extensive experience in Human Resources, including at a senior level with Eli Lilly and Company in regional and country roles across Europe. Her work is focused on change management, organizational effectiveness, and cross-cultural leadership.  Sjoukje holds a BA in English Language from Sheffield University, an MBA from Manchester University, and an MA from the Open University. 

Sjoukje has been involved in Scouting since she was 14, and she served as a Troop Leader for Basel International Girl Scouts, Switzerland from 2010-2013, and then as Chair from 2013-2016.  In her time as Chair, she put considerable effort into recruiting and developing leaders, and by the time she stepped down, they had over 100 girls.  She has drawn extensively on her business experience to develop long-term strategies for success for Girl Scouts, as well as other movements serving youth.  Sjoukje is enthusiastic about making Girl Scouts more accessible internationally.   

Danielle Pierson
Pierson Danielle Headshot 2020

Danielle Pierson, a Licensed Customs Broker, has 15 years of international experience, including work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Currently, she is a freelance Management and Process Improvement Consultant, facilitating leadership training for 11,000 U.S. personnel in Japan and liaising between military senior management and stakeholders to align interests and communicate solutions.  Danielle holds a BA in International Business, Economics, and German from Georgetown College and an MBA from the University of Oxford.

Danielle and her daughter, who is a Brownie, are both registered Girl Scouts at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

Franny Puente-Bonilla

Franny Puente-Bonilla was a Girl Scout as a child and has been heavily involved in volunteering roles in troop, service unit, and council levels.  Her main focus has been on serving and supporting the children of Military families, including her own.  She is presently the OCC for USAGSO-Bogotá, Colombia.

Franny is the Foreign Service Office Management Specialist for the US Embassy, Bogotá, Colombia.  She has also worked for USAG Wiesbaden RSO, Fort Bliss Officer & Civilian Spouses’ Association, USAG Ansbach Army Community Service, USAG Darmstadt Army Community Services, and III Corps, Army Community service.  Franny holds a Bachelor of Science in Math from the University of Puerto Rico as well as a Certificate in Adult and Youth Ministry from the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives.

Valerie Russell

Valerie Russell is a life-long Girl Scout who has directly benefited from the amazing outcomes the Girl Scout program delivers.  She experienced the program as a girl from Daisies through Seniors with the Virginia Skyline Council, earning her Gold Award in 2001.  She credits the Girl Scouts for helping her identify her career path as a chemical engineer and helping her build the confidence to take on new challenges.

The impact of her girl experience led Valerie to become a lifetime member, and she actively engages with the Girl Scout family everywhere she goes.  She has been in many troop, service unit, and council-level volunteering roles across multiple councils as well as most recently serving the Amsterdam, Netherlands community of USAGSO as the Overseas Committee Chair and a troop leader from 2015-2018.  She joined the USAGSO Council of Advisors in 2018.

Valerie is the Director of Sales & Operations Planning for the Acetyl Chain of Celanese Corporation based in Irving, Texas.   She previously was the Business Director for the Sweeteners business of Celanese in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  She held prior roles in business management and manufacturing with Celanese across multiple US locations.  Valerie has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Valerie and her husband Lance have two daughters and the first is finally old enough to be a Daisy!

Carol Weiss Pouchol
Carol Pochoul

A career in Information Technology led Carol to Microsoft where she was based in Redmond, Washington supporting Microsoft subsidiaries in the Asia/Pacific region and later in Europe. She moved to France in 1993 to assume the role of Information Technology Manager for Microsoft Southern Europe where she has lived ever since.



Carol has been part of the Overseas Management Committee of USA Girl Scouts Overseas Paris since 2004 serving as Treasurer and Registrar. As Treasurer, she was instrumental in obtaining non-profit status for USAGSO Paris in France, enabling the organization to operate within local compliance requirements. She has also served as a troop leader, adult awards coordinator and patch coordinator.


Carol has been part of the Council of Advisors of USA Girl Scouts Overseas since its inception and has been involved in sub-committees such as Customer Engagement Initiative and Strategic Partnerships. She has served in various roles and board positions with United Way Tocqueville and the Association of American Women in Europe. Since early 2018, Carol has engaged in philanthropic projects supporting education in Rajasthan and Assam India.


Originally from Bergan County New Jersey, Carol was a Girl Scout for 9 years, earning “First Class” honors. She earned her BA from Dartmouth College, majoring in Computer Science. Her two daughters were born and raised in France and were USA Girl Scouts for over 12 years in Paris.