Welcome, Kate Stookey – Our New President and CEO

On December 2, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust board of directors voted unanimously to appoint Kate Stookey to its top leadership position. Stookey grew up in Blue Hill, Maine, and will take over as president and CEO in February 2022. Current MCHT president Tim Glidden announced earlier this year that he will retire at the end of 2021.

Stookey brings deep experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She has held leadership positions in a number of organizations, including the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, where she built and oversaw the Public Affairs and Community Partnerships Division, and Pathfinder International, where she led multiple global organizational initiatives. Currently, Stookey serves as executive director of Revels, a national cultural arts nonprofit based in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Stookey earned a BA in international relations from Brown University and holds a graduate certificate in organizational behavior from Harvard University and a certificate in strategic leadership from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. The coast of Maine was the backdrop of her formative years, and, after time spent traveling and working and living abroad and around the country, Stookey is excited to return home to work in service to Maine’s environment and coastal communities.

Photo by Becca Casey

“I am honored to have been selected as the next president and CEO of Maine Coast Heritage Trust,” says Stookey. “I believe deeply in protecting Maine’s coast and natural spaces and keeping them accessible for those who work, live, and explore here. It is a privilege to join an organization that has such a profoundly positive impact on the people and the ecology of this state.”

“Kate is a dynamic organizational leader with demonstrated success as a collaborator and bridge builder,” says MCHT board chair Tom Armstrong. “Increasingly, the work of land conservation is about forging relationships across diverse groups of people and interests. Kate brings precisely the quality of inclusive leadership that is needed at this moment, especially in this era of climate change and the challenges it poses to the Maine coast.”

Long-time MCHT board member Tom Ireland and co-chair of the presidential search committee adds, “Kate brings to MCHT everything we were looking for in our next president and CEO, including a deep love and passion for Maine, a track record of strategic and visionary leadership, and proven fundraising success. It was a pleasure to get to know her through the rigorous search process, and I look forward to working with her to further MCHT’s mission.”

Stookey joins us at a time of great momentum and opportunity for land conservation. The organization recently completed a $130 million campaign for the coast—protecting over 11,000 coastal acres, creating 36 new public preserves, and becoming the state’s leader in creating permanent access to the coast.

As pressures on the coast of Maine increase, we’re working with coastal communities to address issues including increasingly limited water access, food insecurity, degraded habitats, and sea level rise. Over the past five years, we’ve launched several coast-wide initiatives to maximize coastal resilience in the face of climate change and we’re privileged to be a part of a statewide effort to build bridges between Maine’s land trust community and Wabanaki communities.