Maine NEW Leadership Institute is happening May 30 – June 4, 2024

Maine NEW Leadership Institute is a non-partisan leadership development program promoting civic engagement and addressing the underrepresentation of women in politics. Join us for six days of workshops, presentations, and networking with some of Maine’s most successful leaders. Undergraduates enrolled in any college/university in Maine and undergraduates from Maine attending out of state colleges/universities are encouraged to apply.

See you there!

Educate Engage Empower

Maine NEW (National Education for Women) Leadership was developed to address the under-representation of women in leadership roles and in politics. It is a nonpartisan educational program designed to educate and empower by enhancing the skills necessary to become the next generation of effective civic and political leaders. By participating in Maine NEW Leadership, participants gain a greater awareness of their own abilities to lead, their expertise and qualifications to take on a leadership role, as well as the many opportunities for them in civic life and public office.  With the skills they learn and the networks they develop, participants are empowered and energized to emerge as leaders.

Maine NEW (National Education for Women) Leadership hosts its annual six-day residential undergraduate student leadership training program each year in early June. We are looking for a diverse group of students who are motivated to learn about the importance of women’s participation in public life and to develop their own leadership skills.

The program includes presentations from politically active women throughout Maine, a visit with women legislators and policy advocates at the State House, and workshops for participants to actively develop leadership skills, such as public speaking, advocacy, and networking.  Participants also benefit from the experience of faculty-in-residence, a group of women public leaders who serve as mentors for students throughout their stay.

Why NEW Leadership?

Honorable Mary Cathcart, Special Consultant

In 2008, The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center was selected to become the seventeenth member of a national network of Development Partners in the National Education for Women (NEW) Leadership TM program, initiated in 1991 by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University. With its focus on helping to build leaders within Maine communities, University of Maine Cooperative Extension became a co-sponsor of NEW Leadership in 2008, and continued in that role until 2011.

Maine NEW Leadership was established in response to the reality that women are significantly under-represented in legislatures, both nationally and in Maine. Research suggests that women are more likely to run for office if they are encouraged and are exposed to political role models, and Maine NEW Leadership is one of the critical components that help women reach their full civic potential.

Since its inception, Maine NEW Leadership graduates have engaged in campus-wide and group leadership positions; have been selected for municipal committees and boards; have been elected to their local school boards; have created diversity coalitions at their universities; have obtained their “dream jobs” due to skills they learned at Maine NEW Leadership; and have been active in single-issue, individual political campaigns, and political party campaigns.

Maine NEW Leadership is a six-day, non-partisan, residential training program for undergraduate female students either from Maine or attending college in Maine. Since it is provided to students at no charge, we rely on donations from our sponsors. Without the generous support of our sponsors, Maine NEW Leadership would not be possible.

If you would like to help support Maine NEW Leadership, you may:

Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center
5784 York Complex, Bldg #4
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5784
Attn: Michael Scott

If you have questions about giving, please contact
Mary Mahoney-O’Neil, Director,

The University of Maine is a non-profit organization qualified as tax exempt under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

The University of Maine does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquires regarding nondiscrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, Orono, Maine 04469, 207.581.1226.