Maria Thacker Goethe is the founding CEO of The Center for Global Health Innovation (CGHI), an Atlanta-based organization formed in 2020 from the merger of Georgia’s major global health and life sciences 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 speaks with a collective voice.
Maria is also the president and CEO of Georgia Bio, a role she has held since Feb. 2019, after spending more than 12 years actively building the organization into one of the state’s top bioscience and MedTech associations.
Under her leadership, the Georgia Global Health Alliance, BioEd Institute and Global Health Crisis Coordination Center were established and now reside within CGHI.
Prior to Georgia Bio, Maria participated in a fellowship at the 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 on the board of the CJD Foundation, Southeast Life Sciences Association, and KSU Research Foundation, and as vice chair for the Council of State Bioscience Associations. Most recently, she was named to Georgia Trend magazine’s 2021 “100 Most Influential Georgians” list. Additionally, Maria has volunteered for 11 years with the Junior League of Atlanta.
Maria holds a master’s in public health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Sweet Briar College. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Patrick, and daughter Cecilia.
Kristina Forbes is the Vice President of Operations for the Center for Global Health Innovation (CGHI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the international global health, health technology, and life sciences ecosystem to enhance health outcomes around the world. She is responsible for the strategic direction, financial management, and business operations and does this through leading initiatives designed to cultivate relationships and expand networks within the multiple industries represented through CGHI’s membership. Ms. Forbes enhances global health and economic development initiatives through collaboration, advocacy, and support of CGHI’s divisions: Georgia Bio, Georgia BioEd Institute, Georgia Global Health Alliance, and the Global Health Crisis Coordination Center.
Kristina is passionate about community engagement and service, dedicating her time in and out of the office towards promoting STEAM opportunities, entrepreneurship, innovation, and youth development. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and began her career in nonprofit management, to include the Technology Association of Georgia, Chi Phi Educational Trust, and the Atlanta Area Council – Boy Scouts of America. She has volunteered with multiple community organizations and currently serves on the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Junior Board and the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance Board.
Andrew Randall is an Atlanta native and licensed CPA in the state of Georgia. Andrew has a varied background in finance and accounting with a particular expertise in nonprofit financial leadership and management. His career began fifteen years ago with a large local accounting firm where Andrew primarily focused on corporate tax planning and compliance. Andrew then transitioned to the nonprofit sector in 2011 serving as Controller and subsequently CFO of TMS Global. In 2018, Andrew formed his own consulting business where he provides outsourced Controller, CFO and accounting solutions to a variety of organizations, including a multi-year outsourced Controller engagement with Gray Matters Capital, a highly regarded impact investing organization based in Atlanta.
Andrew earned his Bachelor and Master of Accounting degrees from the University of Georgia, and in recent years completed a Nonprofit Management Certificate Program through Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Andrew lives with his wife Lori, two young sons Will (5) and Wes (3), and three cats in Roswell. Lori is a primary care physician with Northside Hospital in Atlanta. In his free time, Andrew enjoys spending time with his kids, running along the Chattahoochee River, making espresso, and preparing/eating vegan food.
Edie Stringfellow is the Vice President of Ecosystem Development for the Center of Global Health Innovation (CGHI) where she is responsible for recruiting pioneering organizations to expand the innovative, entrepreneurial, and collaborative ecosystem of CGHI’s Global Health Innovation District b.k.a “The District;” a growing and thriving marketplace where the life sciences community works together to balance global and local priorities and perspectives. She is also developing programs to draw and engage district participants as well as the surrounding community in a manner that creates mutual value and advances the CGHI’s mission.
Edie takes pride in being ‘The Mayor’ of The District where its focus is ‘glocal’, combining global health expertise to produce local impact and beyond. She has made it her personal mission to create a culture where everyone is welcomed and an experience where risk takers and biomedical explorers can thrive as well as support world class organizations to solve health crises.
As Head of CGHI’s Innovation & Health Equity Office and Command Center (launching Q3 2022), Edie will work with numerous organizations via a transformational digital network to address health disparities in underserved and under-resourced populations. It will work in partnership with corporations to develop a process to help them understand their responsibility in achieving equity where they do business and within their workforce. The office will leverage its relationships to assist life science companies with increasing diversity in clinical trials and their talent pipelines. Additionally, she will provide strategic guidance to The Center’s workforce and crisis response units to ensure their programs and projects are equitable and accountable.
While at the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Edie served as the Sr. Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Prior to MassBio, she was a Director of Patient Recruitment for a clinical research agency. Currently, The Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) Awareness Advocate is on the Mass General Brigham Biobank / NIH All of Us Research Program Community Advisory Panel and the Medable Patient Advisory Council. She is also a member of the Vaccine Atlanta Outreach Initiative and a member of WITH (Women Innovating Together in Healthcare) global organization, Boston Chapter.
Before transitioning to the Life Sciences, Edie spent 15 years in Sports, Entertainment and Film and worked at ESPN as well as on projects for German Channel ZDF, Global Insight Pretoria S.A., and Toronto Sports Network. Due to life-changing events of losing loved ones to SCD complications, Edie embarked on a new career journey, committed to making an impact by passionately assisting organizations that work towards improving people’s lives. Edie splits her time between Boston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. When her schedule permits, she enjoys working on sports/film/music/theatrical productions related to STEM. She has a daughter that is Pre-Med at the University of Miami who is an inspiring neurosurgeon and screenwriter.
“Viruses have no boundaries, so neither should we. The diseases we fight are rare, but the opportunities to fight them shouldn’t be.” - Edie Stringfellow