Nichole June Maher is the president and CEO of Northwest Health Foundation, which she has transformed into a national forerunner in equity and a champion of supporting communities to build power through collaborative action and advocacy. She previously served as executive director of Portland’s Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) for more than 11 years.
An active member of the Native American community, Nichole was raised on Lincoln County’s Siletz Indian Reservation and is very involved in supporting Native art and arts organizations. She and her mother practice the traditional art of making button blankets, an important part of Northwest tribal culture.
“I am particularly interested in ensuring that all parts of Oregon are included in arts development and that all have access to opportunity and funding,” says Nichole. “I have a specific passion for ensuring that rural communities, communities with disabilities and racial and ethnic groups historically underserved have a seat at the table and access to resources.”
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.