Announcing Our New CEO Nichole June Maher

Nichole MaherGroup Health Foundation is honored to announce that Nichole June Maher will become the new president and CEO of Group Health Foundation in October 2018, leading the organization in our bold pursuit of health equity for Washington State. Nichole brings visionary leadership, grounded in two decades of work dedicated to achieving a more equitable Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Nichole will be coming from Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization similar to Group Health Foundation, where she has been the president and CEO since 2012. Under her leadership, NWHF has become a forerunner in equity nationally and a champion of supporting communities to improve health by building power.

Previously, Nichole served as the executive director of Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), which is widely recognized as one of the most effective and innovative wrap-around family service models for Native American communities in the United States. While there, one of her most satisfying accomplishments was co-founding the Coalition of Communities of Color, which has grown into an influential advocacy group in the state of Oregon and regionally.

Nichole is a nationally recognized leader in philanthropy and health, and is widely published. She has served on a number of governing boards, including Grantmakers in Health, Philanthropy Northwest, the National Urban Indian Family Coalition, the National Comcast/NBC Joint Council Board, the Northwest Indian College Foundation Board, the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Education Investment Board, and Portland City Club. She has also received numerous leadership and industry honors, including Oregon’s 50 most powerful people, Oregon’s top 40 under 40, Portland’s 50 most influential people, and the Oregon Women of Distinction award.

She holds a master’s degree in public health from the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. She also completed a fellowship at Harvard Medical School and the Robert Wood Johnson Minority Medical Education program at Yale Medical School.

Nichole is proud of her Alaskan heritage and her connection to Washington and Oregon’s rural communities. She is an active mother of three young children.


“While a river may separate us, Washington and Oregon face many challenges in health equity. I feel incredibly honored to work on these challenges together in my new role at Group Health Foundation. The board has outlined a compelling vision for health, with a commitment to authentic community engagement and true partnership. It’s a vision that Washingtonians deserve, and one I’m excited to help achieve.”