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Passionate About Growing People

Marta is the former social services ( DCBS) commissioner for Kentucky. She has over 45 years of experience in organizational and clinical social work practice, during which she has held multiple roles, such as tenured professor, social researcher, executive leader, fund development professional, psychotherapist, community organizer, advocate, activist, coach, trainer, facilitator, and public speaker.  

She is the immediate past President/CEO of The Center for Women and Families, a 6 million dollar non-profit serving survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault in Kentuckiana. 

Before joining The Center for Women and Families, she served at Eastern Kentucky University as an associate professor in the Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work Department for 17 years. During her tenure, she served as the chair of Women and Gender Studies and Dean of Multicultural Student Affairs. 

After retiring from The Center in February 2018, she re-launched her consulting practice Catapult Now LLC, where she provides organizational and leadership development, board development, executive coaching, strategic planning, retreats, facilitation, and training services to non-profit and for-profit organizations and a national speaker at professional conferences. 

Governor Andy Baeshear appointed Marta as the Department of Community-Based Service (DCBS) commissioner on June 18, 2020. DCBS is responsible for the most extensive administration of public services to children, adults, and families in all 120 counties in KY, including child welfare, protection and permanency, adult protection, and foster care. It has over 4,500 employees and a one billion dollar budget. Marta returned to retirement and consulting in February 2023. 

Marta was inducted into the Affrilachian Poets by KY Poet Laureate Frank X Walker in 2009; she is a published scholar and poet, and her memoirs Cradled by Skeletons - A Life in Poems and Essays was published in the Winter of 2019 by Shadelandhouse Modern Press. Her illustrated children’s book Lullaby for Maddie, written in English and Spanish, was released on November 16, 2022. Saraband Books accepted her poem The Reckoning to the anthology Once a City Said to be published in Spring 2024.
She lives and plays in Louisville, KY, with her husband, Cary Jude Straub, and their dog, Layla. 

Marta Miranda Speaking at a podium

Awards + Recognition

  • Muhammad Ali Daughter of Greatness, 2013
    Muhammad Ali Center

  • MOSAIC Award, 2014
    Jewish Family & Career Services

  • Excellence in Leadership Award, 2016
    The Center for Non-profit Excellence

  • Kentucky Martha Layne Collins Women in Leadership Award, 2016
    Woman Leading Kentucky

  • SAAMy Award
    Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs

  • Compassionate Laureate, 2018
    Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

  • Woman of Distinction, 2020
    The Center for Women and Families

  • Social Justice Star, 2023
    National Association of Social Workers, Kentucky Chapter

  • LA Weekly, 2023
    2023 Author on the Rise

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