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Linda Gooden, a retired executive in information systems, will be honored with the Morgan Stark Memorial Award for her exceptional leadership in promoting technology and risk management in the American Heart Association (AHA). The award ceremony will take place on June 14th during the AHA’s National Volunteer Awards virtual public ceremony from 6 to 8 p.m. Central time. (Photo credit: BEYA Gala Archives)

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According to an AHA press release, Nancy Brown, the AHA CEO, described Gooden as an excellent role model who has demonstrated outstanding stewardship of the organization’s resources, ensuring sound operational excellence.

Under Gooden’s guidance, the AHA cybersecurity team created a ransomware playbook and conducted simulations with the executive leadership to assess the organization’s readiness to deal with cyber attacks. Gooden believes that such simulations help organizations identify gaps and prepare for cyber events.

Gooden also contributed to developing the AHA’s first Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report, which includes information about the organization’s environment, personnel, and management practices. Gooden stated that the ESG report shows how the organization’s purpose, treatment of people, and sustainability management come together.

Gooden’s association with the AHA reportedly began when a friend invited her to participate in a local Heart Walk event, which resonated with her dedication to health equity. She is also passionate about raising awareness that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women and has lost several family members to heart disease.

Gooden, who exemplifies the spirit of G. Morgan Stark, will receive the prestigious G. Morgan Stark Memorial Award during the American Heart Association’s National Volunteer Awards ceremony on June 14 at 7 PM EDT. This award is presented annually to an outstanding AHA national volunteer for exceptional leadership in managing the organization’s resources.

Gooden, named Black Engineer of the Year in 2006, has advocated for STEM career programs for young people. She has served on various boards and foundations, including Morgan State and Hampton universities, the University of Maryland’s School of Engineering, Prince George’s Community College Foundation, the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, and Boy Scouts.

Gooden is currently the Chair of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents and served on the board of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. Her philanthropic activities focus on initiatives that support students in pursuing STEM education.

Gooden’s interest in information technology began at Youngstown State University in the 1970s. Her career in IT began at General Dynamics, where she wrote code, and later worked for Martin Marietta, which later merged with the Lockheed Corporation to form Lockheed Martin. Gooden believes that the digital divide is a national problem that affects the next generation of computer engineers and scientists.

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