Nichole June Maher, MPH

Nichole June Maher joined Northwest Health Foundation as president and CEO in August 2012. Since then, Nichole has led the organization through a significant transformation. Under her guidance, Northwest Health Foundation has become a forerunner in equity nationally, as well as a champion of supporting communities to build power through collaborative action and advocacy. Nichole is proud of NWHF’s majority people of color board and staff, that the Foundation gives over 70% of its resources to communities of color and its shift to better serve rural and disability communities. Northwest Health Foundation is a model for how a foundation can leverage all of its resources, beyond just grantmaking, to improve health.

Previously, Nichole served as executive director of the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) in Portland, Oregon for over 11 years. Under her leadership, NAYA grew its annual budget from $200,000 to $10 million and became recognized as the most effective and innovative wrap-around family service model for Native Americans in the United States. While there, one of her most satisfying accomplishments included co-founding the Coalition of Communities of Color, which has grown into an influential advocacy group in the state of Oregon and regionally.

Nichole 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 has 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. Nichole is widely published, and her work has been influential in the fields of philanthropy, equity and education.

Nichole serves or has served on a number of governing boards, including Philanthropy NorthwestGrantmakers in HealthPortland City Club, the National Urban Indian Family Coalition, the Oregon Arts Commission, the National Comcast/NBC Joint Council Board, the Northwest Indian College Foundation Board and the Oregon Education Investment Board.

Born in Ketchikan, Alaska, Nichole is very proud of her Alaska Native heritage. Along with a childhood spent on the Siletz Indian Reservation and the remote Olympic Peninsula, she feels a deep connection to Pacific Northwest’s rural communities. Nichole is also an active mother of three young children.