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Georgia Bio Names Maria Thacker-Goethe President and CEO

Georgia Bio has named Maria Thacker-Goethe President and CEO of the state’s public policy and business solutions organization representing Georgia’s life sciences industry.

“For more than a decade, Maria has established a strong reputation for her industry knowledge and expertise with Georgia businesses, leaders and legislators,” said Georgia Bio Chair Patricia Fritz, Vice President, U.S. Corporate Affairs at UCB Inc. “Maria’s experience, determination and decisiveness give the board confidence that she is the right person at the right time to lead Georgia Bio.”

Ms. Thacker-Goethe has served in a variety of roles for Georgia Bio over the years including Marketing, Membership and Project Manager. From 2013 to 2018 she served as Vice President of Operations. An innovative thinker with broad-based expertise in operations, community relationship building, and marketing Ms. Thacker-Goethe has been a driving force behind Georgia Bio’s programs and the development of the Georgia BioEd Institute.

“Among our top priorities for 2019 are ensuring our members know the value we bring to them through legislative affairs, ecosystem encouragement and purchasing opportunities that drive down the cost of doing business in life sciences in Georgia,” Ms. Thacker-Goethe said. “We will also seek to highlight our members’ industry contributions as we celebrate our 30th anniversary, expand the organization’s membership to encompass digital health, agricultural, plant and industrial biotechnology.”

The Georgia Bio 30th Anniversary Gala and Golden Helix Awards are February 8, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina.

Mrs. Thacker-Goethe has been working alongside Georgia BioEd Institute and industry government affairs leaders to develop a proposal to grow Georgia’s biomanufacturing workforce and improve opportunities for young people in rural communities. The proposal involves investing in cutting-edge teacher training workshops which provide students with access and opportunity to high-paying and innovative jobs in the life science industry. Thacker is the first woman to hold this leadership position and had been serving under an “Interim” title following the departure of Russell Allen in September 2018.

Ms. Thacker-Goethe earned her master’s in public health in health education/communication, and maternal and child health at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and her Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from Sweet Briar College. She is a 2009 recipient of the Power 30 Under 30 Award for professional and community excellence. Ms. Thacker currently sits on the CJD Foundation Board of Directors and an executive committee member for the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes. Additionally, Ms. Thacker Goethe volunteers with the Junior League of Atlanta co-chairing the La Amistad Estrellitas program which works to empower Latina teens; she has volunteered with this program for 9 years now.

About Georgia Bio

Georgia Bio ( is the state’s private, non-profit life sciences association. Members include pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, medical centers, universities and research institutes, government groups and other business organizations involved in the development of life sciences related products and services.

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Last Updated: 08-Feb-2019