Maria Thacker-Goethe, MPH

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President & CEO, Georgia Bio
Executive Director, Georgia BioEd Institute

Maria Thacker-Goethe has more than 13 years of experience in non-profit management and development. She was appointed president and CEO for Georgia Bio and the Georgia BioEd Institute in February 2019. Maria has helped build the organization into one of the top state bioscience and medtech associations through her community outreach and engagement, member development, and leadership on various special projects and programs to increase community connections and resources. Additionally, she had been responsible for conceiving, developing and executing a comprehensive internal and external communications strategy. 

In addition to her work with Georgia Bio, Maria is Executive Director of the Georgia Global Health Alliance which strives to advance global health equity by promoting and facilitating collaboration amongst business, academia, non-profits and government organizations within Georgia and linking them with partners in the US and other countries. Officially launched in late 2016, GGHA is working with the global health community in Georgia, local community business leaders, and national partners to develop strategy and organize the sector to embrace collaboration and speak with a collective voice. GGHA is a lead partner along with the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Deloitte for the Global Health ATL campaign. GGHA is housed within Georgia Bio.

Maria has a diverse background including environmental health, women’s health and health communications and marketing. Prior to joining Georgia Bio, Maria participated in a fellowship at Centers for Disease Control & Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in environmental investigations, working closely with the National Center of Environmental Health in Chemical Demilitarization.

Maria serves as a board member of the CJD Foundation, the Southeast Life Sciences Association, the Council of State Bioscience Associations, the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes, and the Kennesaw State University Research and Service Foundation. She is a 2019 recipient of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Award for career achievements and having demonstrated social responsibility; 2019 recipient of the Metro Atlanta Chamber Phoenix Award for her role as an ambassador for life sciences and global health in the state of Georgia; and 2009 recipient of the Power 30 Under 30 Award for professional and community excellence. 

Maria received her Master in Public Health in health education/communication, and maternal and child health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Sweet Briar College. Additionally, Maria has volunteered for over 10 years with the Junior League of Atlanta/La Amistad Estrellitas program which works to empower Latina teens. When she is not busy working or volunteering, she spends her time with her daughter Cecilia and husband Patrick.