(Missoula Current) The Missoula YWCA on Wednesday announced its new executive director, one the organization described as a champion of equity for women and girls.

Jen Euell will replace Cindy Weese, who announced her retirement earlier this. Euell will take the seat in January.

Weese praised the YWCA board's decision.

“I have known and worked with Jen for years, and I am confident in her ability to usher YWCA Missoula into its second century of service to the community,” Weese said. “She is a passionate and visionary leader who believes that real change is possible.”

The board found that Euell's commitment to gender equity, and passion for women-led change, was evident in her experience and achievements. Euell has spent more than 25 years working toward equity for Montana women and girls, including a decade at YWCA Missoula, where she held numerous staff and volunteer roles.

Euell’s experience as an advocate in the domestic violence shelter led her to co-create the GUTS! (Girls Using Their Strengths) program. It's designed to help young women build self-confidence, identity and peer support systems.

“It's my privilege to join the long line of strong, visionary women to work toward the YWCA mission of empowering women and eliminating racism,” said Euell. “I believe now is the perfect time to build a culture of care at the organization, advance policy changes to benefit the most marginalized populations, and expand our prevention work to address root causes of harm and inequity.”

Euell currently serves as director of the Student Advocacy Resource Center (SARC) at the University of Montana. Previously, she was the program director of the Women’s Foundation of Montana. She holds masters’ degrees in social work and environmental studies from the University of Montana.