Print Page   |   Join GNA
News: News


Tuesday, April 12, 2016  
Share |


April 13, 2016

The Georgia Nurses Association and Georgia Nurses Foundation announce that Marcus Downs has been selected as GNA/GNF’s new Chief Executive Officer. Marcus Downs will assume the new role on May 2, 2016. Downs will succeed Debbie Bartlett, CAE, who is retiring from GNA/GNF after serving as CEO for over 16 years.

GNA President Aimee Manion: “The GNA Search Committee worked in close concert to optimize the recruitment and vetting of highly qualified potential candidates. The final selection process was a collaborative effort between the GNA Search Committee, GNA Board of Directors and GNF Board of Trustees. Our selected candidate, Mr. Marcus Downs, is not only highly qualified but is also the best candidate to lead our association into the future.”

Marcus Downs previously served as the Director of Government Relations for the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG). Under his legislative leadership, MAG was recognized as one of the most influential advocacy organizations in the state as ranked by James Magazine for several consecutive years. While at MAG Marcus was also recognized as a Rising Star and Top Association Lobbyist by the James Magazine.

As the Legislative Director for MAG, Marcus successfully worked on landmark legislation such as the nation’s first Provider Shield Act of 2013 and several bills that address barriers to healthcare related to the insurance industry.

Prior to working for MAG, Marcus served as the Director of Government Relations, External Coalitions, & Political Action for the GA affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA). In this capacity he was known as a diplomatic figure capable of finding the “proverbial middle ground.” His skills set earned him national recognition from the National Association of School Psychologists as the recipient of their Outstanding Advocate award for his work in bringing attention to the importance of school psychologists in the education team approach and the benefits to developing realistic ratios between these school professionals and their students. For this work, he also earned the Outstanding Advocate award in the state of Georgia.

Downs has represented associations with national ties through his service with the North Carolina affiliate of the NEA, the Georgia affiliate of the NEA, and through his affiliation representing the state’s largest professional association that represents physicians, (MAG) who has an affiliation with the AMA. Marcus has years of experience in association management and development and he looks to continue in the excellent tradition of leadership already established by the GNA/GNF.

Downs was educated at Morehouse College and received his graduate training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health.

He was a participant in the 2013 class of Leadership Georgia and was a member of the inaugural class of the Georgia Public Policy Fellowship in Education.

Marcus and his wife Crystal have been married for 13 years and they have two delightful sons, Hayden and Hamilton.

Retiring GNA/GNF CEO Debbie Bartlett adds: “Marcus is a smart choice offered by the Search Committee and selected by the Board of Directors & Trustees. Marcus has been a professional colleague for whom I have great respect. I wish him all the best of successes in his new role.”

Marcus Downs: “I am very excited about joining the GNA/GNF family. I look forward to listening to all nursing professionals so that we may speak with a unified voice.” “As we embark on this new era of healthcare, there are many opportunities for nurses to work with each other and to partner with other healthcare providers to ensure timely attention is given to those who need it most, Georgians…”


3032 Briarcliff Road
Atlanta, GA., 30329-2655


P: (404) 325-5536
F: (404) 325-0407

Office Hours: 

M-F, 9:00AM- 4:30PM

Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal