Margaret Sauer

Director of Office of Rural Health

Margaret “Maggie” Sauer joined DHHS’ Office of Rural Health as director in June 2017, after serving as the President/CEO of the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation (FHLI), in Cary, N.C., for over five years. The NC Office of Rural Health is the first State Office of Rural Health in the nation and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2023. She has worked in direct patient care or administration for over 36 years.

Prior to Sauer’s work at FHLI, she served as the Associate Executive Director of the N.C. Medical Society Foundation, directing programs to strengthen and expand primary care in North Carolina.

Prior to Sauer’s work with non-profit organizations, she served as the Director of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Duke University Health Center’s Department of Community and Family Medicine’s Division of Community Health. There she provided administrative management and coordination for 39 large and complex projects serving 67 North Carolina counties.

Sauer also served as a Research Assistant Professor in Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, specializing in assisting in the multidisciplinary evaluation of persons with developmental disabilities and matching them to assistive technology.

While Sauer is a native of Colorado, North Carolina has been her home for over 30 years and her family shares an early history in North Carolina. She grew up on the rural eastern plains of Colorado and credits her childhood experiences for her passion to serve and work in rural communities. She received her Master of Health Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Master of Science from Colorado State University.