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About Us - Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows

state capitolDistinguished Maine Policy Fellows are individuals with a past or current career as a policy maker in Maine–people of distinguished status and extensive experience. Typically, these individuals come to campus for a day, teach an undergraduate class, engage faculty about research and public policy, and meet with UMaine administration and graduate students.

The purpose of the Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows program is to expose distinguished Maine policy leaders to University of Maine faculty, student and administration; improve educational experiences of students; and expand University and Policy Center contacts.

Please contact Mary Cathcart for more information.

Upcoming Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows
Wednesday, November 18th:
Sara Gideon, Asst. Majority Leader, Maine House of Representatives

Past Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows

Chronological Listing:
Fall 2015 | Spring 2015 | Fall 2014 | Spring 2014 | Fall 2013 | Spring 2013 |Fall 2012 |Spring 2012 | Fall 2011 | Spring 2011 | Fall 2010 | Spring 2010 | Fall 2009 | Spring 2009 | Fall 2008Spring 2008 | Fall 2007 | Spring 2007 | Fall 2006 | Spring 2006

Fall Semester 2015

  • October 1, 2015: Patrick Woodcock has been Director of the Maine State Energy Office since January 2013. Prior to that time, Woodcock worked for United States Senator Olympia Snowe in her Washington, D.C. office. In Senator Snowe’s office Woodcock held the position as senior advisor to the Senator on energy and environmental issues and was one of the lead congressional staffers who authored the overhaul of fuel economy standards in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. In addition, Mr. Woodcock was the primary advisor on Senator Snowe’s energy agenda on the Senate Finance Committee. Woodcock attended Bowdoin College and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government.

Spring Semester 2015

  • January 27, 2015: Barton Seaver,  Director of Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health, has translated his illustrious career as a chef into his leadership of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health. In this role, Barton spearheads initiatives to inform consumers and institutions about how our choices for diet and menus can promote healthier people, more secure food supplies, and thriving communities. Through his collaborative work with industry leaders, institutions, policymakers, media, and conservationists, Barton has become one of the nation’s leading voices for sustainable food systems.
    In addition to his role at the Center, he is an Explorer with the National Geographic Society and is the first Sustainability Fellow in Residence at the New England Aquarium, where he helps relate the Aquarium’s conservation messages with the food we serve at our dinner tables. In 2012, Barton was named by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the United States Culinary Ambassador Corp.

Fall Semester 2014

  • November 20, 2014: Commissioner Patrick Keliher has served as the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources since 2012. He also serves on multiple advisory councils that tackle issues vital to the Maine and New England economy and identity, including the New England Fishery Management Council’s Groundfish Advisory Panel, the Sea Grant Program’s Policy Advisory Group, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Aquaculture, the Governor’s Sub-Cabinet on Natural Resources, the Environmental and Energy Resources Working Group, and the Penobscot River Restoration Trust. At the federal level, he has served as Chair of the ASMFC’a Striped Bass Advisory Panel and Panel Oversight Committee; Vice Chair of the ASMFC’s Fish Passage Working Group; and on the Atlantic Salmon Recovery Framework, a collaborative effort to restore this iconic species. His visit was co-sponsored by the School of Marine Sciences.
  • September 23. 2014: House Majority Leader Seth Berry is currently serving his fourth term in the Maine Legislature, where he is also House Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future. He previously served as Assistant Majority Leader and on the committees on Taxation and Energy, Utilities and Technology, as well as the Maine Children’s Growth Council. Berry is also Vice President for International Business Development of Kennebec River Biosciences in Richmond, Maine. Prior to his policy and business work, Majority Leader Berry worked for two decades in education. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Teaching from Columbia University, Teachers College. He spent the decades of the 1990s teaching in inner-city New York, and most of the next decade teaching in rural Maine. Berry’s awards as an educator include the 1999 Hexter Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Public Education Association. His teaching was featured in New York City’s Best Middle Schools (Soho Press, 1999). Berry was a recipient of the 2007 Clean Air Award from the Maine Lung Association, the 2011 Prevention Award from the Maine Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse, and the 2014 Friend of Youth in Care Award from the Maine Youth Leadership Advisory Team. Berry also serves on the advisory council of his regional early childhood organization, Success by Six. Prior to serving in the Legislature, Rep. Berry served for four years on the Bowdoinham town selectboard, including a year as its chair.

Spring Semester 2014

  • January 31, 2014: Assistant Majority Leader Anne Haskell: Assistant Majority Leader Anne Haskell is serving her first term in the Senate, representing District 9 (parts of Portland and Westbrook). Haskell is Chair of the Taxation Committee and a member of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. She previously served six terms in the Maine House, three representing Gorham, and three representing Portland. While a member of the House, Haskell sponsored a wide range of legislation, including bills to enhance screening for breast cancer, improve housing security deposit options for low income Mainers, and make unemployment compensation fair for seniors.
    She served on the Labor, and Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committees, which she chaired during the 124th Legislature. Haskell remains active in her Portland community and currently serves as a member of the Deering Center Neighborhood Association, and the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gorham Savings Bank.
  • February 27, 2014: Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a University of Maine Alumnus and Maine’s 49th Secretary of State, is the first person to serve non-consecutive terms in that office since 1880. He previously served three terms as Maine’s 47th Secretary of State. During his previous tenure, Dunlap served as President of the National Association of Secretaries of State and was named Maine’s Public Administrator of the Year in 2008. In 2005, he was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta to serve on a national rulemaking panel on driver license and identification card security, and has remained active in the national debate on privacy and national security.
    Dunlap previously served four terms in the Maine House of Representatives representing part of Old Town and the Indian Island Voting District; he served three terms as House Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife as well as House Chair of the Government Oversight Committee. A founder of the Maine Youth Fish and Game Association, Dunlap is an award-winning monthly columnist for The Northwoods Sporting Journal and is active in many civic endeavors, including board positions with The Windover Art Center, University of Maine ‘M’ Club, Russian-American Rule of Law Consortium, and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. He was recently named a Commissioner for the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Dunlap was raised in Bar Harbor and holds degrees from the University of Maine.
  • April 24, 2014: Charles Stanhope, Library of Congress. University of Maine Alumnus Charles Stanhope retired from his public service career at the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, the Library of Congress. He served the library as assistant chief operating officer, working alongside Librarian James H. Billington on executive matters of congressional, legal, and public affairs, as well as private sector fund-raising and donor cultivation. These responsibilities supported the library’s well-regarded exhibit, literary and poetry program, including the activities of the U.S. Poet Laureate. Charles is especially proud to have served on the library team that designed and established the National Book Festival, which annually draws over 150,000 lovers of books and reading to the National Mall.
    Stanhope graduated from the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in French, and from the Catholic University of America with a master’s degree in library science. At the University of Maine, he has established an endowment to support travel for research purposes for honors college undergraduates. Charles’ upbringing and education have instilled in him a love and value for the arts – fine art, performing arts, literary arts – and he has long supported and attended musical and theatrical endeavors in Washington, D.C. Charles serves on the boards of the Maine Historical Society and the Southwest Harbor Public Library.

Fall Semester 2013

  • December 4, 2013: Senator Thomas Saviello. Senator Tom Saviello has a master’s degree in Agronomy and a PhD in Forest Resources, both from the University of Maine. Saviello was first elected to the Senate in 2010, after serving four terms in the Maine House of Representatives, and serves on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Saviello has served as a school board member for School Administrative District 9. Presently he is in his fourth term as a selectmen in Wilton. Saviello also served on the Maine Pesticide Control Board for 15 years.
  • November 20, 2013: Senator Roger Katz. Senator Roger Katz came to the Maine State Senate following his service to the City of Augusta where he was Mayor for two terms. In the 125th Legislature Katz was the Chair of the Government Oversight Committee and a member of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. Re-elected in 2012, Katz is now Assistant Republican Leader in the Maine Senate and serves on the Government Oversight Committee.
  • November 13, 2013: Senator Justin Alfond, Maine State Senate President. Senator Justin L. Alfond is in his third term in the Senate, and was elected the 115th President of the Maine State Senate in December 2012. Alfond’s prior legislative accomplishments include improving high school graduation rates, reforming laws to promote school attendance and achievement, and support for public school teachers to seek professional development. Outside the legislature, President Alfond is a small business owner and real estate developer. Previously, he has been a professional golfer, entrepreneur, and executive director of a nonprofit organization.

Spring Semester 2013

  • April 4, 2013: The Honorable Chris Rector, Regional Representative for US Senator Angus King. Rector served two terms in the Maine Senate and three terms in the Maine House of Representatives. In addition, he has been a member of the Maine Economic Growth Council and the Community Preservation Advisory Committee. His public policy interests focus on economic development, micro-business, the creative economy, education and marine resources.
  • March 25, 2013: Lauren Sterling, Philanthropic Specialist, Educare Central Maine. Sterling manages the philanthropy activities for Educare Central Maine as well as the new $10 million replication initiative called Elevate Maine in partnership with the Maine Early Learning Investment Group (MELIG). Previously, Lauren directed the Maine Governor’s Children’s Cabinet during the King and Baldacci Administrations providing staffing, program and facilitation coordination to its various cross-system, statewide initiatives. Since 1996, Lauren has voluntarily co-chaired a local child and youth provider coalition (Youth Matter) that brings $500,000 annually in prevention and youth development funding into the greater Waterville schools and community organizations.

Fall Semester 2012

  • December 3, 2012:Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.Woodcock is responsible for ensuring that the State of Maine maintains its fisheries and wildlife resources for their intrinsic and ecological values; their economic contribution; and their recreational, scientific and educational use by the people of the State.
  • October 30, 2012: Laura Fortman, Executive Director, Frances Perkins Center.  Fortman was the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor from 2003-2010, where she oversaw the agency responsible for providing unemployment insurance benefits, labor market information, employment services, labor law enforcement, and services to people with disabilities. During that time she served in leadership roles with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies and the National Governors Association and testified before the U.S. Senate. Prior to becoming Commissioner, Fortman was the executive director of the Maine Women’s Policy Center/Maine Women’s Lobby, leading advocacy efforts to improve opportunities for women and girls through state legislation.
  • September 27, 2012: Dana Connors, President, Maine State Chamber of Commerce.  As the leader of the state’s largest and most diverse business association, Connors dedicates his energy to enhancing prosperity for all Maine people. He oversees the Chamber’s broad range of activities: advocacy efforts, economic development initiatives, international trade opportunities, and a wide variety of member services on behalf of the state’s business community.

Spring Semester 2012

  • April 12, 2012: Meredith H. Jones, President and CEO of the Maine Community Foundation. Prior to being elected president of the Maine Community Foundation (MaineCF) in January 2009, Jones served as the vice president of programing at the foundation where she helped create the Maine Compact for Higher Education and ENCorps, a volunteer leader program for civic-minded baby boomers.Before joining the foundation, Jones was director of education and training for the Maine Health Care Association. She has also worked for the Maine Development Foundation where she led communication, strategic planning, programmatic and fund development initiatives. She was a member of the team that created Leadership Maine, the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education, and the Policy Leaders Academy.
  • March 29, 2012: John Dorrer, Program Director, in Jobs for the Future’s Building Economic Opportunity Group. John Dorrer is a program director in Jobs for the Future’s (JFF’s) Building Economic Opportunity Group, which focuses on advancing the education and careers of low-skilled adults and low-wage workers. He leads JFF’s emerging work in the development and application of labor market information and workforce research, including helping states use longitudinal data to align their education and training investments with the needs of dynamic regional economies.

Fall Semester 2011 (Top of page)
  • December 6, 2011: Emily Cain, State Representative, Democratic Leader. Representative Emily Ann Cain of Orono was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2004 at age 24 and was elected to be the Democratic House Caucus leader for the 125th Legislature. She is the youngest female legislator to lead the minority party in the Maine House. Representative Cain served as the House Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs during the 124th Legislature, leading the charge to balance strong bipartisan budgets during the worst economic crisis in recent history.
  • October 31, 2011: Patrick S. A. Flood, State Representative. Pat Flood is in his fourth term as a State Representative representing Winthrop and Readfield. He is the House Co- Chair of the State Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs. He has served on the committee for five years. He has also served on the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry and several Joint Select Legislative Committees.
  • October 26, 2011: Dr. Dora Anne Mills. Dr. Dora Anne Mills was raised in Farmington, and graduated from Mt. Blue High School and Bowdoin College. Before returning to Maine in 1992, she graduated from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, completed her internship and residency at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and worked in Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Nepal, and India. While practicing pediatrics in her hometown in the early to mid-1990s, she commuted to Boston to earn a master of public health (MPH) from Harvard University.
  • October 26, 2011: Trish Riley. Trish Riley is the Distinguished Visiting Fellow and lecturer in State Health Policy at George Washington University. She served as Director of Governor Baldacci’s Office of Health Policy and Finance, from 2003 – 2011, leading his effort to develop a comprehensive, coordinated health system in Maine and to assure affordable health insurance for all Maine citizens. She was the principal architect of Dirigo Health Reform and served as the state’s liaison to the federal government and Congress, particularly during deliberations around national health reform. She chaired the Governor’s Steering Committee to develop a plan to implement the Affordable Care Act in Maine.

Spring Semester 2011 (Top of page)

  • April 4, 2011: J. Duke Albanese,  Senior Policy Advisor, Great Schools Partnership & Former Maine Commissioner of Education. Duke Albanese was senior policy advisor for the Great Maine Schools Project from 2003–2007 and is now senior policy advisor for the Great Schools Partnership. His career in education has spanned 36 years, including service as the Commissioner of Education for the State of Maine (1996–2003) and a long tenure as the superintendent of schools for the Messalonskee School District in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine. Duke is a nationally sought-after advisor and speaker on educational issues and policies, and a founding director of the Sports Done Right initiative at the University of Maine.
  • March 17, 2011: The Honorable Charles Cragin. A Cornish native and graduate of Portland High School, Mr. Cragin served in Vietnam with the US Navy and utilized the GI Bill to put himself through college and law school. He was an in the Portland, Maine law firm of Verrill Dana, LLP for 20 years, and was active in Maine politics, prior to entering federal service. In 1990, he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to be Chairman and Chief Judge of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. His service with the Federal Government continued for the next 11 years. Mr. Cragin has a distinguished record of public service in Maine and in Washington, D.C. His most recent federal position was as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans.

Fall Semester 2010 (Top of page)

  • October 28, 2010: Catherine S. Renault, Ph.D., Director of Office of Innovation Maine Department of Economic & Community Development.  Dr. Renault holds a B.A. from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of Virginia. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Renault served as a project manager for RTI International North Carolina, and as a senior research associate in the office of economic development at the University of North Carolina where she co-authored the evaluation of Maine’s research and development sector. Dr. Renault joined the Maine Office of Innovation in January 2007. She has more than 16 years experience in innovation-driven economic development.

Spring Semester 2010 (Top of page)

  • April 14, 2010: Philip Bartlett, Maine State Senator. Senator Barlett is currently serving his third term representing District 6 (Westbrook, Scarborough, Gorham) in the Maine State Senate. Raised in Gorham, he graduated from Tufts University and earned his JD from Harvard Law School. He spent a year as a clerk for the Maine Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Leigh Saufley. He has chaired the Joint Standing Committee on Utilities and Energy and the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Energy Future.
  • April 5, 2010: David Littell, Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner. Littell has served at Maine’s Department of Environmental protection for 7 years and became Commissioner in 2005. Before joining Maine’s DEP, Littell was a partner at Maine’s largest law firm Pierce Atwood. Littell attended Princeton University, received his JD from Harvard Law School, and retired from the US Navy Reserves as a Lieutenant Commander.

Fall Semester 2009 (Top of page)

  • November 10, 2009: Speaker Hannah M. Pingree. Maine House Speaker Pingree is currently serving her fourth term as District 36 Representative, serving coastal and island towns, including her hometown of New Haven. This is her second term as House Speaker. Pingree graduated from Brown University and spent a year in New York City as the Fellow for Leadership in Public Affairs for the Coro Foundation before returning to Maine.
  • October 29, 2009: Janet Mills, Maine Attorney General. Before becoming the first woman to be elected Maine’s Attorney General, Mills served four terms in the House of Representatives. She served on the Judiciary, Criminal Justice, and Appropriations Committees.
  • October 1, 2009: Richard Rosen, Maine State Senator. Rosen was born and raised in Castine. He was elected to the Maine Legislature in 1998, representing District 31. Before his time in the Senate, he spent three terms in the Maine House of Representatives. Rosen has been appointed to the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs for every term he has served.

Spring Semester 2009 (Top of page)

  • Spring 2009:  Karl W. Turner, Former State Senator. Turner earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine. Turner served four terms in the Maine Senate. He has been part of the Appropriations, Education and Cultural Affairs, and HHS Committees.
  • April 2, 2009: Michael Saxl, Former Maine Speaker of the House. Saxl was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1995 and was Speaker of the House from 2000-2002. He is currently Counsel at Verrill Dana in Augusta, Maine.

Fall Semester 2008 (Top of page)

  • December 5, 2008: Josh Tardy, Maine House Republican Leader. Representative Tardy (R-Newport) is serving his fourth term in the Maine House of Representatives. He was unanimously re-elected House Republican Leader having served in that position in the former 123rd Legislature. Rep. Tardy has served on the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Taxation as well as the Joint Select Committee on Regionalization and Community Cooperation. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Maine School of Law in 1993.
  • September 25, 2008: Elizabeth “Libby” Mitchell, Maine State Senator. Senator Mitchell (D-Vassalboro) is the Senate majority leader and in her second term as a senator. She previously served nine terms in the Maine House of Representatives where she was Speaker of the House during the 118th Maine Legislature. Senator Mitchell was guest lecturer in four classes during her day on campus.

Spring Semester 2008 (Top of page)

  • April 28, 2008: Laurie Lachance, President and CEO of the Maine Development Foundation. Lachance has been in her current role since 2004. She served as the Maine state economist for eleven years and spent ten years working as a Central Maine Power economist. Lachance is a Dover-Foxcroft native who earned a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and an MBA from Thomas College.
  • February 26, 2008: Steven Rowe, Maine Attorney General. G. Steven Rowe was sworn in as Maine’s 54th Attorney General on January 5, 2001. Attorney General Rowe’s previous state government service includes four terms in the Maine House of Representatives from 1992 to 2000, serving as Speaker of the House in his last term.

Fall Semester 2007 (Top of page)

  • November 13, 2007:  Peter Mills, Maine State Senator. Senator Mills is currently serving his second consecutive term in the State Senate. The senator had previously served in the Senate from 1994 to 2002, and in the State House of Representatives from 2002 to 2004. He is the Senate Republican lead on the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs for the 123rd Legislature, and had served as the Senate Republican lead on the Insurance and Financial Services Committee during the 122nd Legislature.
  • October 23, 2007:   Glenn Cummings, Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives. Cummings, who is serving in his fourth term in the Maine House, was sworn in as Maine’s 98th speaker last December.

Spring Semester 2007 (Top of page)

  • April 16, 2007: Susan Gendron, Commissioner, Maine Department of Education. Gendron has been the state’s education commissioner since February 2003. Before joining Gov. John Baldacci’s cabinet, she had a distinguished career as a teacher, principal and superintendent in southern Maine.
  • March 29, 2007: John Richardson, Commissioner, Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. Richardson recently concluded his fourth consecutive term in the Maine House, during which time he rose in the ranks to House Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Business and Economic Development in the 120th Legislature; to House Majority Leader in the 121st Legislature; and finally to Speaker of the House in the 122nd Legislature.

Fall Semester 2006 (Top of page)

  • Maine Senate President Beth Edmunds. Edmunds has served on the Senate since 2000, and was elected Senate President for the first time in 2004. She has also served as Senate Chair on the Labor Committee and Senate Member on the marine Resources Committee.
  • Maine State Senator Kevin Raye. Raye graduated from Bates College with a degree BA in Political Science. He has served on the Maine State Senate since 2004.
  • Commissioner of Marine Resources George Lapointe. Lapointe recieved his B.S. in Wildlife from the University of Massachusetts and hold a M.S. in Wildlife from the University of Minnesota. Lapointe was appointed Administrative Commissioner in 1998, and Vice Chair in 2004.

Spring Semester 2006 (Top of page)

  • Former Governor Angus King. King graduated from Dartmouth and the University of Virginia School of Law. He was first elected Maine Governor in 1994, serving two terms. After serving as the 72nd Governor of Maine, King became a lecturer at Bowdoin College.
  • State Senator John L. Martin. Martin was first elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1964 and served ten terms as Speaker of the House. He was elected to the State Senate in 2000 and has served since. He has served on the Joint Standing Committees on Appropriations and Financial Services, Natural Resources, and the Health and Human Services.

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