Research, Programs & Public Service - Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows Program
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.
Distinguished 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.
Fall 2013 Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows:
- Senate President Justin Alfond, November 13, 2013
- Senator Roger J. Katz, November 20, 2013
- Senator Thomas B. Saviello, December 4th, 2013
Past Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows
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.
- 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.
- December 6, 2011: Representative Emily Cain, 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 DEP 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.
- Commissionor 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.