Linda Gooden is treasurer of the American Heart Association (AHA) for 2023-25 and has general oversight of the financial affairs of the AHA including care and custody of all funds and securities. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors, Business Solutions Oversight Committee and Audit Committee, and is chairperson of the Corporate Operations Coordinating Committee.
After years of wanting to be a math teacher, Linda Gooden fell in love with computers. Little did she know that her newfound affinity for technology would one day help people live longer, healthier lives.
Following a nearly 40-year career in the aerospace and defense industry, most recently as the executive vice president of Lockheed Martin's Information Systems & Global Solutions business area, Gooden now devotes her time and talent to the American Heart Association mission.
Her service began when a friend recruited her to do a local Heart Walk — her first of many. She said the AHA’s dedication to health equity resonated with her, as did the opportunity to raise awareness that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for women.
The experience has been especially meaningful because she has lost several family members to heart disease.
Serving on the National Board of Directors and previously chairing its audit committee, she has provided instrumental leadership to implementing the AHA’s multiyear cybersecurity program and launching a new financial system.
Gooden guided the AHA cybersecurity team in creating a ransomware playbook and conducting simulations with executive leadership to test the organization's preparedness for cyberattacks.
In addition, she participated in developing the AHA's first Environmental, Social and Governance report, which includes information about the AHA’s environmental, personnel and management practices.
With her audit committee leadership, the AHA has made great strides in cybersecurity. But new threats are constantly emerging, she says. That fact — and the potentially devastating consequences — motivates her to continue promoting best practices for the AHA.
For her exceptional efforts in advancing technology and risk management, Gooden received the AHA’s 2023 Morgan Stark Memorial Award, which is presented annually for outstanding stewardship and leadership in human resources, finances or operations.