Maria Thacker-Goethe, MPH

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Maria Thacker Goethe
CEO, Center for Global Health Innovation
President & CEO, Georgia Bio | LinkedIn

Maria Thacker Goethe has over 16 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 after over 12 years of work in supporting roles. 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 oversees the organization’s STEM Institute and its sister organization, the Georgia Global Health Alliance.

In February 2020, Maria was appointed CEO for the Center for Global Health Innovation (CGHI). CGHI sprung from the Global Health ATL initiative that was designed to explore and advance opportunities for collaboration among the region’s rich resources. Based in Atlanta, the CGHI is dedicated to empowering the international Global Health, Health Technology, and Life Sciences Ecosystem to enhance health outcomes around the world. The Center was formed from the merger of Georgia’s major global health and life science organizations. CGHI was established as an impartial, leading organizer of the global health, life sciences and health technology community which embraces cross-sector collaboration and speak with a collective voice. In 2020 CGHI launched the Global Health Crisis Coordination Center which is designed to mobilize corporates and NGOs to collaborate with federal, state, and local leadership for real-time problem solving and coordination during humanitarian and heath responses. It is currently responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 Chair for the Council of State Bioscience Associations, a board member and governance chair of the CJD Foundation, and a board member of the Southeast Life Sciences Association, the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes, and the Kennesaw State University Research and Service Foundation. She was named to Georgia Trend magazine’s 2022 and 2021 “100 Most Influential Georgians” list; is a 2022 graduate of the Leadership Atlanta program; 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; 2009 recipient of the Power 30 Under 30 Award for professional and community excellence; and a soon to be an Alumnus of Leadership Atlanta,

Maria received her dual 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 volunteered for over 11 years with the Junior League of Atlanta in leadership and programming roles working to empower Latina teens. When she is not busy working or volunteering, she spends her time with her daughter Cecilia and husband Patrick.

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