Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, becomes BSA national president

The Boy Scouts of America today elected Randall Stephenson, the AT&T chairman and CEO, as its 36th national president.

Stephenson, in the BSA’s official release about his election, called the BSA “one of the best character-building and leadership development organizations in the world.”

“The values Scouts learn as young men — integrity, selflessness and self-reliance — are fundamental to a strong, healthy society,” he said. “It’s no surprise that so many of America’s leaders, in every field of endeavor and from all walks of life, have Scouting in their backgrounds.”

Stephenson, in his volunteer role, joins Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh and National Commissioner Charles Dahlquist to form the National Key 3.

Stephenson takes the leadership baton from former defense secretary Dr. Robert M. Gates and will serve two consecutive one-year terms. Stephenson has been a friend of Scouting and pivotal BSA leader for some time. He joined the BSA National Executive Board in 2005 and became a member of the executive committee in 2008.

He served as chairman of the 2013 National Jamboree — the first at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.

Surbaugh thanked Gates for his leadership, saying “we will remain eternally grateful to you and your unwavering leadership and commitment to Scouting.”

Surbaugh then expressed his enthusiasm for working with Stephenson over the next two years.

“Moving forward in our mission to serve America’s youth by teaching them leadership and developing their character, Mr. Stephenson is a shining example,” Surbaugh said. “As the leader of one of the world’s most innovative communications companies, Mr. Stephenson will help us fuel our effort to bring fresh, relevant and high impact experiences to youth and families.”